Food drive helps fight hunger
By TaeHyeong Kim
A large group of volunteers surround a wide table. Soon after, many kinds of foods are poured on the table from carts. Cereals, pastas, apple juices, tomato sauces, cup noodles, crackers. The hands of volunteers get busy.
They pick up the food by type and put it in a box that is also labelled by type. The boxes are soon filled and packed and moved to the warehouse.
Outside the building, cars with food arrive and make a line. As soon as a car door opens, volunteers move the food to the cart and carry it in the building. This work continues over and over for five hours straight.
The annual City-Wide Food Drive was held at Gleaners Food Bank warehouse in Belleville on Sunday afternoon. Volunteers carried and sorted the foods for the community. Gleaners Food Bank Quinte hosted this event to help people who might have trouble getting food themselves.
Debbie Hyland is the finance and fundraising assistant for Gleaners.
“The importance of today’s event is to continue to help our neighbours. We might all have neighbours beside us who need a hand,” she said. She added that the role and vision of Gleaners is to help anyone who needs it.
“This is to make sure that everybody is fed in the community. That is kind of basic. There is no question; no judgement here. If someone needs something to eat, our goal is to make sure that no child, no parent, no person goes hungry.”
In 2017, Gleaners Food Bank helped 3,002 families, 9,588 adults and 5,500 children, 904 seniors and 799 students.
About 75 volunteers participated in Sunday’s event. Some people came in a group and some participated individually. The spectrum of participants was diverse, from young secondary students to seniors. All of them had a willingness to help the community.
Barbara Lea has participated as a volunteer in the food drive for six years.
“This is my community, I live here. I just believe I have to give it back to the community. Unfortunately, there are so many people today who need financial support and food. This is the way the community comes together. It is good to help out those who are less fortunate.”
Food drives and fighting poverty are critical and local politicians lend their support. Gleaners Food Bank hosted `the Third Annual Great MPP & City of Belleville Mayor & Council Food Sort’ on Sept. 21. MPP Todd Smith and Mayor Taso Christopher participated to sort food as volunteers.
Stanley Jones, a candidate for the current city council election, participated as a volunteer for the food drive last Sunday.
“We need the food bank in the city,” he said. “There are many people having trouble putting food on the table. The food bank helps people get through this. Everyone needs to put food on the table. That is the key thing Gleaners does.”
It’s around 3 p.m. – the middle of the long food drive day. While the volunteers keep sorting the donated foods in the warehouse, other volunteers still wait for the five buses that have not yet arrived. Those volunteers are still out collecting food all over the city, trying to make sure that no one goes hungry.
Loyalist women’s rugby a force to be reckoned with
By Matthew Botha
From a shaky start to a force that is not to be messed with, the Loyalist women’s rugby team has come a long way.
In 2016, after unexpected injuries combined with the lack of numbers needed to field a strong team, the Lancers women’s 15’s team folded. Although this was a big setback for the progression of the sport, in 2017, the OCAA announced it would add four additional women 7’s rugby teams.
The league expanded to nine colleges, with all women’s varsity teams now adopting the seven-a-side game. This change was a new-found hope for the Lancers, seven a side meant that they could once again start fielding a full team. With coaches working to recruit new athletes over the past two seasons, they’ve built up a team that has far passed any expectations for a small college.
“We’ve come so far since the tryouts and everyone is one big family,” says Hanna Fitzgerald, a player for the team.
“Everyone’s starting to get it now and it really showed in our last tournament. The best part of the team is the depth – every girl on the team is worthy of starting, so when we make our subs, we know were still putting out our strongest players.”
Over the weekend, the Lancers competed in the first OCAA women’s 7’s crossover event at Fleming College in Peterborough. Teams from the east division crossed over to battle against the teams from the west. The Lancers fought a tough game against the Humber Hawks to start off the day, coming short with a 43-0 loss. They regrouped and hit the pitch hard to dominate their second game of the day with a 30-14 win over the Sheridan Bruins. With the first try of the game being scored by third-year athlete Cortney Wright, they used that momentum to keep up a strong offensive line with Rachel Streekstra and Bailey Meraw both putting points on the board. The second day saw nothing but success as the Lancers’ hard work and determination brought in wins against both 2017 League champions, the Seneca Sting as well as finishing strong with a win against the Conestoga Condors.
The Lancers will be competing next on their home turf, hosting the next league tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20.