By: Quintina Northrup

On October 5, the Fredericton Community Kitchens hosted the annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive in partnership with Leo Hayes and Fredericton High Schools. All proceeds were donated to Feed the Lions and Kat’s Kitchen.

The food drive took place at four different grocery stores across the city including the Co-Op, Uptown Sobeys, the Northside Atlantic Superstore, and the Northside Giant Tiger.

“I got involved with the [Community] Kitchens because I wanted to help the community, and being new to Fredericton, I thought it was a good place to start,” said Faith Lean, a third-year nursing student at UNB. Faith was on-site volunteering with the Kitchens, helping sort and load donations onto the bus.

“Being a part of this fundraiser was very special to me… I am constantly blown away by the different initiatives in our community, and the willingness of Frederictonians to donate to these initiatives. There are many barriers in our society that contribute to food insecurity, the Stuff-A-Bus fundraisers and the work done by the Community Kitchens are a couple of ways that our community is tackling this issue,” said Lean.

This is the Community Kitchens’ first annual Student Hunger Month to help raise awareness for their programs and raise funds to feed hungry students. Their initiative is to help end student hunger so that students can focus on learning instead of worrying about food.

They deliver about 3,100 backpacks full of non-perishables to 18 school partners and provide approximately 70,000 lunches each year with the help of 300 volunteers.

For those who missed the Stuff-A-Bus food drive, it is not too late to get involved. Supporters can buy a lunch for $5 or a backpack for $15. They can also sponsor a student for $25 which provides them with lunch for a week, or they can sponsor a class for $250 which feeds 50 students lunch for a day.

Riverview Ford Lincoln has also organized a fundraiser to support the Community Kitchens during Student Hunger Month. They are running a Pumpkin Decorating Photo Contest that starts Wednesday, October 13, with prizes being drawn on Thursday, October 28. They have pledged that with every entry, they will buy a student lunch.

Participants are encouraged to post pictures of their decorated or carved pumpkin. Whoever receives the most votes in their category will win a $150 Think Play/Endeavours gift card, a Lego Technic Ford F-150 Raptor set, or a $150 Isaac’s Way gift card.

The grand prize winner will receive $250 in Downtown Dollars. Details can be found on Riverview Ford’s Facebook page.

Getting involved is free and easy. Pumpkins provided by Moxon’s Country Pumpkin can be picked up for free at the Riverview Ford dealership.

To donate to the Community Kitchens, visit https://de.frederictoncommunitykitchens.com/donations/student-hunger-monthTo participate in Riverview Ford’s Photo Contest, visit https://contest.riverviewford.ca