Over 130 students at Bayside Secondary School (BSS) went without food for 24 hours on May 14 to 15 to raise as much money and awareness as possible about hunger in the Quinte area through Meal Exchange’s 24 4 Hunger (24 4H) campaign.
As part of the event, students were involved in activities such as basketball and Dance-Dance Revolution. The school’s cafeteria turned into a "tent city" as students slept overnight at the school. Almost $10,000 was raised from pledges gathered by students, a silent auction and a separate fundraiser held on May 16 at Boston Pizza.
"The passion of Bayside’s students for this cause does not surprise me, as we have demonstrated commitment and caring to the local community time after time," said Emily Young, Teacher and Staff Advisor for 24 4H.
Dave Kranenburg, Executive Director for Meal Exchange said that "Bayside Secondary School is the first high school in Canada to organize the 24 4H campaign and we hope that their efforts will inspire many others."
What sets this event apart from other similar events is that 100 percent of the money raised will be used to support both local food banks as well as the Food for Learning Program at Bayside.
Jillian Macklin and Maggie Balsdon, the BSS students who organized the 24 4H campaign, started working with 16 other students in November of 2009. Jillian and Maggie first heard of 24 4H through Jordan Thompson, a BSS graduate who founded the campaign while coordinating Meal Exchange at the University of Guelph and who received the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Achievement in Voluntarism for his efforts.
"We wanted the students who rely on our Food for Learning Program and the people in our community who use food banks regularly to understand that Bayside is behind them one hundred percent in the fight against hunger," said Jillian and Maggie.
The 24 4H event owes its great success to the 53 local businesses who provided financial support, donated items to the silent auction or who donated food for the "feast" which occurred immediately following the 24-hour fast. The opening ceremonies featured Mayor Neil Ellis, Suzanne Quinlan; Gleaners Food Bank, Kellie Brace; Director of Food for Learning at the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and Dave Kranenburg; Director of Meal Exchange.
Meal Exchange (MX) is a national student-founded, student-driven, registered charity that helps young Canadians realize their potential to improve the future of communities, through meaningful opportunities to reduce local hunger. MX offers students in universities, colleges and secondary schools fun and creative programs that blend student energy and passion with their strengths and capacities as youth leaders. For more information, visit www.mealexchange.com
For information, please contact:
Emily Young, Teacher, Bayside Secondary School, 613-966-2922 or [email protected]