Kids drive donations to food bank

A Grade 3 class from Uplands School was driven to help the community in exchange for a little fun.

Uplands Elementary School students check out one of the attractions at LocoLanding Amusement Park June 5. In their effort to earn extra play time at Loco Landing

Uplands Elementary School students check out one of the attractions at LocoLanding Amusement Park June 5. In their effort to earn extra play time at Loco Landing

A Grade 3 class from Uplands School was driven to help the community in exchange for a little fun.

Students from Penticton and Summerland were invited to LocoLanding for an hour of play last week, and to invoke some healthy competition, the class to collect the most food items was rewarded with extra time at the park. Uplands School collected more items for the food bank than every other school combined.

“It was all them,” said Uplands teacher Judy Street. “It’s really good to inspire kids to move and we’re really happy to help out the food bank.”

Street said three boys collected food in the Uplands neighbourhood by leaving out bags and collecting them later in the week, some students had help from their parents’ offices, others asked a grocery store for donations and some even returned as many bottles and cans as they could to purchase food with money from the deposits.

Their efforts brought in a total of 1,348 items for the Salvation Army Community Food Bank in Penticton. A food drive in June is especially important to the food bank, which is strained by an increase in use due to children being out of school, and donations aren’t always top-of-mind outside of the holiday season, said Diana Stirling, co-owner of LocoLanding. The campaign has been held every June for the past five years.

“The way Ms. Street motivated her students shows the power of goal-setting in the classroom,” said Stirling. “These 22 children were determined to not only beat the existing record (set in 2014) but to surpass all other schools combined. When they entered the gates of LocoLanding, they were so proud of what they had done for the community. It was truly amazing.”