(From left to right) Tracie Senger, Ryann Buckingham, Claire Kincade and Chloe Harrold assisting in counting donated food items for the Salvation Army food bank during the 10,000 Tonight event on Wednesday.                                Photo courtesy of Bo Boxall

(From left to right) Tracie Senger, Ryann Buckingham, Claire Kincade and Chloe Harrold assisting in counting donated food items for the Salvation Army food bank during the 10,000 Tonight event on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Bo Boxall

Students pass their mark for food drive

Penticton students collected items for the 10,000 Tonight food drive

Students surpassed their donation goal after picking up non-perishable food items around the community on Wednesday evening for 10,000 Tonight.

Both of Penticton’s secondary and middle schools hit the streets on Wednesday to collect the bags that were distributed in the Nov. 24 edition of the Penticton Western News and then filled by residents with food donations for the Salvation Army food bank. The final tally of items donated by Penticton residents was 13,212.

Related: Penticton students prepare for this year’s 10,000 Tonight

Terry Grady, principal at Skaha Lake Middle School said the students tackle 75 routes and the students are the “horse power behind it.”

“The students get a sense of helping and making an impact on the community. It’s a life lesson and experience that they don’t forget,” he said. “It’s a time when all the schools work together. The cross town rivalry is set aside and it (10,000 Tonite) becomes the common goal. It’s about youth serving society.”

The food drive plays a major role for the Salvation Army.

“What they do that night helps carry us through the rest of the year. We get lots of donations this time of year but things get pretty scarce in January, February and March and of course there is still quite a need. This event carries us through,” Miriam Leslie, of the Penticton Salvation Army, previous told the Western News.

In the past, each of the city’s high schools took turns running the food drive. But in recent years it was decided to split the city into Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School catchment areas and then include both KVR Middle School and Skaha Lake Middle School.