Owen Sound schools come through in crosstown challenge

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In a friendly crosstown food-drive challenge, Owen Sound’s eastside elementary schools were victorious over their westside counterparts this year.

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Students at Alexandra, St. Dominique-Savio and East Ridge collected the most food and other items, based on a point system, than their rivals at Hillcrest, Keppel-Sarawak and St. Basil’s.

This was the second year of the challenge. Last year, westside schools won the trophies.

More than 7,000 pounds of food and personal-care products was collected between March 21 and April 13, for the Salvation Army food bank, Owen Sound Hunger and Relief Effort kitchen, and Owen Sound Animal Shelter.

The principals of the schools involved, representatives from the benefitting organizations and some small children gathered in the gym at the Salvation Army building on 14th Street West Wednesday for a photo to mark the end of the challenge.

Keppel-Sarawak principal Laurie Gilkinson and OSHaRE’s executive director Colleen Trask Seaman said the challenge was about the school community coming together to benefit community partners, not competing to beat the other side.

Each school belongs to one of three school boards in the city, Bluewater District School Board, Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board and Conseil scolaire catholique Providence.

Every Friday during the challenge was dubbed Fiver Friday. A point system was used to rank foods most sought after that week, said Salvation Army co-ordinator Alice Wannan.

One week, cookies and crackers were worth five points, while pudding, for example, was worth one. Other sought-after items identified by the food bank, OSHaRE and animal shelter were worth five points in other weeks. To help out the animal shelter, pet food donations were worth five points.

Students brought their donations to school and Wednesday the food and other donations were collected from the schools and piled in the Salvation Army gymnasium, where it will be sorted and distributed.

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