Teens tackle hunger in Surrey
Giving back to people in need has become a priority for students at Fraser Heights Secondary in North Surrey.
Since Dec. 1, students in Grades 8-12 enrolled in the Learning Assistance Class began collecting food for the Surrey Food Bank.
The learning assistance resource centre has a number of “different learners,” said teacher Randi Sykes. “They often walk through our doors failing class and pretty beat down by the system and we really try to boost their self-esteem.”
The teachers impressed on the students how the misconceptions of who uses the food bank can be very misleading.
“Some students were quick to judge and assumed only drug addicts use the food bank,” Sykes said. “But we try to explain that’s not true and often the need is right in your own backyard.”
Once the students began sharing their own stories with their classmates, that’s when the program really began to take off.
Jordan French was struggling with some of his classes and decided to take part in the program.
“I live in an apartment complex in Guildford and I know what it’s like to go without,” said the 17-year-old Grade 11 student. “On the first day, I brought 50 cans in. I feel it’s right to give back to the community. It makes me happy.”
For Grade 11 student Jenny Huynh the class has become somewhat of a refuge.
“I was bullied in school and this class helps me with my school work and with life,” said the shy 16-year-old. “I got involved (in the food drive) because I have two cellphones yet so many people out there don’t even have food to put on the table or even a roof (over their head).”
She donated food along with clothes and jewelry that she felt young teens would enjoy.
So far the class has collected 2,300 items of food that will be delivered to the food bank on Dec. 20.
“Not one student asked why they should donate,” said Sykes.”No one asked what they should receive in return; no one needed to. I didn’t need to motivate, this is all them.”