A unique fundraiser supported by the families of Wildwood School resulted in fresh vegetables for their dinner tables as well as the tables of others who may need some help.
The school donated 600 pounds of potatoes, carrots and other local vegetables to the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre thanks to the generous support of its families.
"Last year our Parent Teacher Association, which does a fair amount of fundraising in our school, was looking for some new ways to raise some money," said Principal Candace Ahmed. "One of the parents had heard about a school that had done a vegetable fundraiser so she reached out to Spring Creek Farms. We thought it would be a reasonably priced way to get fresh, local produce into the hands of our families."
While the fundraiser was designed to support the school, Ahmed said organizers thought it was also a good opportunity to help others.
"As we were creating the order forms we thought if a family wanted to donate, they could check a box and donate $10; that would be a donation of 10 pounds of carrots or potatoes for the food bank. Last year we donated just over 300 pounds of vegetables and this year we are close to 600 pounds. What a great way to be able to give," she said.
The donated harvest of potatoes, carrots, Brussel sprouts, corn and other vegetables helps the food bank service its clients with healthy, local produce. The donation builds a connection between the school and the food bank and is one of the ways in which the school can share the values of giving and generosity with students.
Ahmed said the fundraiser is also a simple way to share the message with students about the importance of eating healthy food and is a good fit with other activities that are part of the school.
"We have a garden club with some beds where they grow some vegetables – although this last summer they were out of commission due to some renovations," she said.
"Our gardening club is usually students in Grade 1-5 and that has been a really neat tie-in to the community as well because we have had a lot of families come out to plant, harvest, and learn about Indigenous plants and the things that grow best in our prairie landscape. Last June, the students in the garden club went out to the Saskstoon Food Bank garden patch downtown for a tour and did some weeding and harvesting."
The school's parent teacher association does great work to support learning and student activities throughout the year, Ahmed said, and in the case of this fundraiser its efforts also benefit the community outside of Wildwood School.
"Our excitement comes in the ability to give back and work with the food bank."