Two local hockey teams took time from their very busy December schedules to gather food and other essentials for needy children in north Kingston. Their efforts did much to support families over the holiday season and raise awareness of food security issues with the players and parents of the teams.
The holiday season is a difficult one for families in need particularly given that there are sixteen days between the end of classes and the beginning of the new term. These children do not have access to their in-school meal programmes during that time and must find support elsewhere. The Kingston Canadians Minor Atom AA Hockey (boys) team collected non-perishable foods for our local elementary school during a hockey tournament they hosted over the weekend of Dec. 20 – 21. They encouraged teams participating to bring donated food. As a result, the Kingston Chapter of Blessings in a Backpack was provided with 62 bags of food and a $200 gift card from Bennett’s ValuMart.
The Ice Wolves Pee Wee AA (girls) Hockey team also contributed to the campaign. Each player and some of the parents filled holiday shoe boxes with essential items for young girls of a similar age. The team got together at the home of Mike and Cathy Wilson to organize and gift wrap the shoe boxes. They also baked cookies to distribute to students at the school.
Both teams learned a lot about the plight of food insecure families in Kingston. The Principal was overjoyed to receive these gifts during the final week of classes and the families could rest a little easier knowing that their cupboards would be filled for the holidays.