News & Events

NWSS Cares! Food Drive leads to record number of Christmas hampers

Students prepare a record number of Christmas hampers this year as gifts for anonymous families in the school community.

Students for Students…

Dec.6, 2019 – Boxes of Cheerios, tins of salmon, packets of pasta – and gifts for students and families: Students in the school’s Student Leadership Council assembled more than 71 Christmas Hampers and sorted more than 2,400 food items by the end of Tuesday evening this week.

Teacher Christine McNulty in a classroom packed with generosity…

That’s a record number of hampers this year.

The gifts of generosity and care from students, staff and the community will be going directly to the families of fellow students at New Westminster Secondary School – impacting no fewer than 225 people.

The two-week food drive led to the participation of some 50 classes in the high school, resulting in an enormous contribution of food items that packed one classroom and overflowed into another.

“It was neat to see the entire school mobilize toward a common goal (last Friday), when all groups stopped and sent runners down to the Leadership room with their remaining donations to meet the deadline,” said Student Leadership teacher Christine McNulty.


“This is a project that we could not undertake without the support and participation of teachers, support staff, administration, custodial and maintenance personnel, alumni and most importantly – the students,” said McNulty.


By Tuesday evening, some 2,400 food items had been grouped, sorted and packed.

The hampers are distributed to families in all high school programs, including Royal City Alternate Program, Power Alternate Secondary School and the Sigma program at NWSS.

“In many ways, this is a project that hits close to home. The gifts may be going to the students sitting beside you,” McNulty said.

A longstanding tradition of giving…

In teacher Annie Choi’s experience, it’s yet another successful year in what’s been a longstanding annual tradition for NWSS. Now retired, Choi said she has been involved in the annual tradition since 1983 – some three and a half decades.

Chemistry teacher Binal Khakharia lends a helping hand…

“The need is always there,”  she said, noting that in times past, a Christmas dinner complete with turkey and all the trimmings was shared with families in the cafeteria.

The annual Food Drive ran from November 18 to 29 this year.

In recognition of enthusiastic support, the ‘Cookie Prize’ goes to the class that contributes the most.

On December 10th, the students in one of the school’s English Language Learning classes, where individual students are often new to the country, filled their donation box multiple times. The ‘cookie prize’ will be a heartfelt thanks to their giving spirit.

Retired teacher Annie Choi has been a volunteer part of the annual tradition for more than 3 decades…