NORTH DELTA — Hundreds of high school students will be spreading out through the area Thursday evening to collect food for the needy.
The annual food drive - the largest singleday canned food drive in the province - is called Thanks for Giving. The student-led initiative is now in its 21st year.
Teacher Lindsay Bochen said she was a student back when the drive first started.
"I actually used to be a student here and I remember way back in '92 was the first year," she said.
In that first year, the idea was to collect 10,000 cans in one night, and Bochen said they have managed to collect more every year since.
"Last year we had I think 18,000 cans so we're aiming for 20,000 this year," she said.
"We'll be collecting non-perishable items for Deltassist as well as the Surrey Food Bank."
Bochen added that it's nice when people know about the food drive ahead of time and are prepared for the knock on the door on collection night. But this year it's beentough for students to get the word out. For some reason, many businesses have not let students put up posters around the community to let everyone know about Thanks for Giving.
"This year I think we're going to canvass some grocery stores this weekend (Oct. 5 and 6) and hand out some flyers to let people know we're coming," Bochen said.
Nearly everyone in the school body takes part, along with staff and parents, making for a group of 600 to 800 people who take to the streets to pitch in.
What the food collectors are looking for in terms of collections include high-protein items, such as meat, chicken, fish, peanut butter as well as other canned goods.
The area they expect to cover on Thursday evening will be from 96th Avenue south to 72nd Avenue, and east to the Surrey border on Scott Road.
If more groups sign up, more than 90 - and they have 77 so far - they will also canvass south of 72nd Avenue, added Bochen.
"It is just huge how much students do for this event," said Bochen. "It really is a student-driven campaign."
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