For the thirteenth year in a row, Clayton Heights Secondary students will be collecting donations at Halloween for the local food bank.
This year’s “Halloween for Hunger” event will take place a day early though, on Oct. 30.
The event, which has been going since 2008, usually happens on Halloween, but Sarah Daintrey, a teacher at Clayton Heights and the event’s chief organizer, said she’s had to pivot this year because of COVID.
“Every year our students go door to door and collect non-perishable food items for the food bank on Halloween night,” she said. “This year, we will be doing it a day early so we are not out on the street during Halloween.”
Daintrey said students will be hanging donation bags on people’s door knobs in Clayton Oct. 19-23. Students are asking the public to donate the basics, things like canned goods, baby stuff, and toiletries.
She added the students will walk through Clayton Oct. 30 from 3 p.m to 7 p.m. to collect the bags from door steps. Students will be masked and will only pick up donations if they are on the front step. “Because of COVID, we won’t be knocking on doors.”
Daintrey said she’s also encouraging drop-off donations at the school as the truck for the food bank will be at the school from 3 – 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30.
She said the United Way is sponsoring the event. They’ll set up tents at the school and the donation area will be socially-distanced and COVID compliant for anyone who wants to drop off items at the school.
“They are also bringing hot drinks and some food for the students to help keep them going through the night.”
Last year, Daintrey said students collected more than 4,500 items for the food bank and she’s anticipating something similar on Oct. 30.
“I’m hoping to keep it the same or more this year. The food bank is really needy right now because of COVID. They are being used way more than usual.”
Halloween for Hunger supports the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank, which is run out of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen.
Daintrey said there was never any thought to cancel the food drive this year because the need is so great.
“Some of this food we collect will be re-distributed to families that have students in our school,” she explained. “Our students have seen this grow as a tradition every year and just because we are in an unusual year doesn’t mean we cannot keep it going. One of our school’s guiding principles is service to others and their community. This fits that principle very well.”
Clayton Heights Secondary is located at 7003 188 Street.