News & Events

Generosity Update: Food Drive for Students, by Students at NWSS

Teachers Christine McNulty and Annie Lee get a headstart on sorting through the results of the 40th annual Food Drive at NWSS…


Students helping students….

Dec, 8, 2017 – Thanks to the generosity of staff, students and community members, the annual Food Drive at New Westminster Secondary School will be able to meet the goal of providing food hampers for 60 families in the school community who could use a little extra holiday help.

More than two dozen high school leadership students worked to inspire as many of their classmates as possible to contribute food items to the drive. Three classes were rewarded with cookies by NWSS Home Economics teacher, Chef Meghan Dehghan –  one for contributing the most cash donations, another for the most units of food and the third for “the most consistent performance.”

“Images {of a classroom jam-packed with soup tins and gift bags} do not adequately depict the enormity of what we have been up to,” said Student Leadership teacher Christine McNulty. In fact, donations are piling up in not just one classroom but spilling over into an adjacent room. The process of sorting and packing is now unfolding. A final update will be coming soon…

NWSS Members of the Student Leadership Council helped inspire the generosity of staff, students and the community for the annual food drive – an NWSS tradition since 1984.

“This is to benefit the students in our school community,’ said McNulty. “As big as this school is, we have students here from all walks of life – and someone you know may not have enough to eat.”

She noted that recipients of food drive boxes are anonymous, and that school counsellors and student advocates make referrals so that every box goes to a student or family who needs it.

Yes we can!

More than a dozen school classes participated and each food hamper box is filled not only with food-related items, but also a few extras to lighten spirits or keep feet warm, like scented bubble bath or extra socks –  which one staff member bought one year for all the boxes.

The NWSS Food Drive has been an annual tradition since 1984, and has evolved from focusing on donating food to the Food Bank, to contributing to a community dinner in the late 1990s, to the current focus on benefiting kids in the student community.

“It makes a difference to know that there are students among us who could use the help and that we may not know who they are. It makes us all try a little harder,” McNulty said.

Students in the leadership course at NWSS are in grade 9 to 12 and strive to become active citizens in their school community. They commit to 60 service hours at lunch and after school as part of their course.  “We are hoping to create a group of self-starters who when they see a need, don’t wait for some else to take the initiative but do it themselves,” said McNulty – who also teaches business education, psychology, and computer science; has taken on the annual NWSS yearbook; and is active in the local Burnaby New Westminster Secondary Schools Athletic Association..

Students, staff and the public were invited to make donations. The drive ran until December 6, 2017.