Brandon, MB – The annual Halloween Food Drive will take place again this year on Halloween night, October 31st, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Volunteers will be canvasing the neighbourhoods, collecting donations of non-perishable food and hygiene items.
Historically this initiative has been co-hosted by the Assiniboine Community College Students’ Association, and the Brandon University Student Union, to collect food for their student food banks. BUSU collects food from 18th Street – West in Brandon, to go towards their student food bank hosted on their campus. ACCSA collects food from 18th Street – East in Brandon, to go to the Samaritan House community food bank.
Last year A&W and Progressive Westman joined the ACCSA in coordinating and collecting food for the Samaritan House. Six community organizations/clubs came together, including the ACC Student’s Association, A&W, Progressive Westman, Telus, AAA Wheat Kings Hockey, Crocus Plains Rugby and Crocus Plains Football teams. A total of 5000 lbs of food was collected for the Samaritan House. This year their goal is set to collect 10,000 lbs of food, which is 10% of what the Samaritan House needs per year.
“We’re hoping to have 150 volunteers this year to help bring in more food”, said Janice Penziwol, Administrator Officer, A&W Rootbeer Holdings. “There’s also donation boxes located at the Trans-Canada and Queens A&W locations. For every visit, with a donation, you will receive a coupon for a free root beer. There’s also a donation cup, where you can leave change. Last year we purchased $300 worth of diapers that we donated to the Samaritan House.”
The Samaritan House distributes more than 147,000 pounds of food each year, which is approximately 22,000 hampers, to local families. Nearly 50% of Samaritan House clients are children.
The roster of teams collecting food east of 18th Street, so far this year, includes the ACC Students’ Association, A&W, Progressive Westman, ACC Cougars Hockey Team, Telus, Paramount Services, Brandon Youth Hockey Association, Westoba, Heritage Co-op, and Benny’s Restaurant. We welcome all other organizations/groups to volunteer with us for the evening. If you would like to join the effort, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Karleigh Paul, ACCSA Events & Marketing Coordinator, (204) 725-8700 x. 6644, and she will get you set up with a neighbourhood map, volunteer badges, bags & boxes, and provide you with instructions to help make the evenings efforts a success.
“The ACCSA is proud to be involved in the Halloween Food Drive again this year”, said Shelby Mymko, ACCSA Vice President of Events & Marketing. “This community event gives Assiniboine students the opportunity to not only be involved in supporting the Samaritan House but also in supporting other Assiniboine students who may be in need.”
The Samaritan House provides food hampers for Assiniboine students and members of the community in need. To make an appointment and access their Food Hamper Program, call (204) 726-0758 Ext. 1. It runs Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., along with access designed for students and those who are working from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays only.
Brandon University Students’ Union collected just under 3000 lbs of food west of 18th Street last year, for their student food bank. Their goal is to increase that amount this year. The Brandon University Bobcats have come on board to help this year as well.
“The Halloween Food Drive is incredibly important to BUSU’s foodbank due to it being the only way we stock food for our foodbank”, said Emily Simon, BUSU’s Vice President Internal. “Being able to partner with ACCSA is a great opportunity for our organizations to cover a larger area and share the work and benefits. We are so lucky to be in the community of Brandon. Due to it being a smaller city, people have the opportunity to see where their contributions go. You never know, when you are out and about, if maybe your waiter or cashier used your donated goods to eat so they could pay their bills.”
Brandon University students can access BUSU’s foodbank every Friday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., but arrangements can be made for emergency hampers when students need. Students receive a milk coupon or half a dozen eggs with each hamper given out.
Although we put out our best effort every year, we may not be able to get to every house and neighbourhood. Next day pick-up is available for this reason. If you live from 18th Street-West in Brandon, please call BUSU at (204) 741-0248. If you live from 18th Street-East in Brandon, please call ACCSA at (204) 725-8710.