PVS Micro Village’s Helping Hands…Lend a Hand
Written by Lesley Jeanes, Learning Coach (Parkland Village School/Brookwood School)
Special thanks to our Facilitators who organized and accompanied the students on the trip including Teacher Paige Couros and Educational Assistants Alison Munn and Janna Murray.
On March 28, 2016 the employees of Helping Hands, a non-profit organization within the PVS Micro Village Society, traveled to the City of Spruce Grove to lend a hand at The Parkland Food Bank. This opportunity allowed employees to give back to the community.
Employees, under the direction of Carter Davidson, Manager and Mason Murray, Asst. Manager, decided they wanted to embark on a project that would help the greater community of Parkland County. Through their awareness of the amount of food collected at the school each year for Christmas Hampers, the staff identifiedThe Parkland Food Bank as a worthy cause. They felt this initiative would have a widespread positive influence, and that there is a need for a reliable source of nutrition withing the Parkland County community.
In order to collect food items, employees spent time creating and posting flyers around the school. They also ensured each Micro Village citizen took a flyer home to their families and advertised on Micro Media’s biweekly newscast. Helping Hands offered a free bag of popcorn in exchange for a suitable food item donation. After the collection period, they had amassed 58 kg of food! It was noted by one employee, this was the equivalent weight of 2 employees, Mason and Jackson.
With a grant from The Aspen Foundation for Labour Education, the non-profit group was able to charter a bus for the trip to The Parkland Food Bank. All 9 employees, managers, and 3 adult facilitators made the trek to deliver their 58 kg package. While there, they were able to learn more about the service the food bank offers, gain an understanding of the need, and do a little work. Members sorted their donations and shelved bread. Interesting facts they shared about Parkland Food Bank include:
- The cost of milk & meat each month equals $6000. Clients only receive 1 L of milk and 1 lb of meat at a visit.
- Clients are able to pick up a “full hamper” once each month.
- Clients are able to access bread and produce once each week.
- The Parkland Food Bank is supported by local stores which donate all left over bread products.
- Bread products that cannot be used are traded as feed to a local rancher for meat.
- A local company donated a cube truck to pick up supplies.
When asked what was the biggest insight they gained from their visit, Helping Hands employees overwhelming expressed dismay at the high level of need. They knew this service was in the community, but the visual image of the amount of food on the shelves, and the dollars spent each week painted a picture of the enormity of the service the food bank provides. If you wish to find out more information on The Parkland Food Bank, you can click on this link. Helping Hands would like to thank The Parkland Food Bank for welcoming them to the facility. They would also like to thank The Aspen Foundation for Labour Education, for their generous grant. Finally, without the support of PVS Micro Village, there would not have been any food to donate, so thanks go out to all citizens of Micro Village.