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40 Cans for Lent supports Airdrie Food Bank during crucial times

The Airdrie Food Bank continues to feed around 600 families through the hamper and pantry programs, according to Christine Taylor, the Airdrie Food Bank events, marketing and communications manager.

At a time when help is much needed at the Airdrie Food Bank, the "40 Cans for Lent" fundraiser brought in a total of food and monetary donations worth over $35,600.

Christine Taylor, the Airdrie Food Bank's events, marketing and communications manager, said they are continuing to feed around 600 families through the hamper and pantry programs.

“We are seeing more and more two-income families needing help,” she said, which means more people are having to choose between paying bills and buying food.

On top of that, more people are struggling and aren’t able to donate as much, she said. Due to the food bank purchasing more food, they are in a higher need for donations. 

While overall donations haven’t decreased, Taylor said they’re not meeting the needs of the community.

"The 40 Cans for Lent program sponsored by the Knights of Columbus has come to an end for this year,” stated Wayne MacGillivary from Airdrie’s Knights of Columbus.

Every year, the Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days leading to Easter Sunday. Catholics participate in prolonged fasting and reflection during lent, and charitable giving is also emphasized.

St. Veronica School and Our Lady Queen of Peace School were top contributors in the fundraiser, MacGillivary noted. Good Shepherd School and St. Martin de Porres High School also participated.

St. Veronica’s principal Patrick Quinn said they raised $784.95 in cash and more in food donations.

“It always amazes me, the students that seem to give the most are the students that have experienced a time in their life where food was not easily available for their families,” Quinn said. “I find that those families are aware of how challenging it can be to put food on the table.”

To encourage students to donate, they were entered for donations into a prize draw for things like ice cream treats or an extra recess period. The school offered different activities that students or staff could participate in through a monetary donation. 

Quinn said the students were really engaged in the fundraiser and proud to fill up the food donation bin.

Principal Michelle Davies at Our Lady Queen of Peace School said they raised $1,346 and brought in 1,480 food items.

They also held special challenges to encourage participation. Davies noted this provided some healthy competition between classes with the winning classes receiving things like popcorn pizza, or ice cream parties.

Davies said the fundraiser teaches students the value of collectively serving the community.

“That sharing of gifts is a complete tie to our district's faith theme and that faith theme is ‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift,’ from 2 Corinthians 9:15,” Davies said.

Davies praised the partnership between the schools and the Knights of Columbus, which serves the schools in a number of avenues.

The Knights of Columbus is a worldwide men’s organization within the Catholic Church, which is dedicated to performing acts of charity. The 40 Cans for Lent campaign falls under the international organization’s Food for Families program.


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