With their stocks running low, Sergeant Kristy Smith of 14 Division came to the aid of the Parkdale Community Food Bank.
She challenged nine elementary schools in the Division to raise food with the Xmas holidays around the corner.
The one-month challenge concluded last December with Queen Victoria Public School securing 2,633 items for donations. Nearly 300 were raised by the Grade Six class.
“We started off with the idea that everyone in the class would bring in four items,” said Piper Boyd-Bell, one of the Grade Sixers. “But, then, we thought that would be too much, so everyone was asked to bring in two items. The response was great and even teachers chipped in and brought goods.”
The winning school was rewarded with a Dodge Ball game and a visit from Toronto Argonauts vice-president Michael “Pinball” Clemons, whose foundation was one of the partners in the food drive.
“I am so proud of you for stepping up to the plate and helping people,” he told the students on March 8. “My wife (Diane) was in a similar position years ago.
Clemons recounted the story of his wife – the youngest of eight siblings -- growing up in a Florida household without much food.
“One day, while her parents were out trying to get something for the family to eat, an older sister took tissue paper from the bathroom, folded them into squares and give each sibling one of them,” he said. “She then went into the cupboard and took out some salt, which was the only thing there, and put some in each of the squares. She instructed her siblings to fold the squares and suck the salt.”
Frank Bergen, 14 Division unit commander, thanked Smith for leading the initiative to help needy local residents
“One of the jobs of a police officer is to look after their community,” he noted. “This is an amazing example of community work.”
Smith said TPS will challenge another police service this year to raise funds for the Parkdale Community Food Bank.