H4H at STM
The fight against poverty becomes explicit on Halloween night when over 1000 volunteers meet at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School to collect donations for the local Neighbour 2 Neighbour (N2N) food bank. The vast majority of these volunteers are the school’s very own students, who successfully bring back tens of thousands of pounds of food each year. An initiative originally beginning with only 30 students in the year 2000 has grown to be one of the largest student-organized events in the country.
The H4H collection area spans the West and Central Hamilton Mountain, from the Ancaster border in the west, to the escarpment in the north, Upper Wentworth to the east, and Twenty Rd to the south, accounting for approximately 25,000 homes. The entire collection process occurs in one night with the launch and return location being the school’s cafeteria. A single moment is not wasted as all donations are brought to the food bank within the next business day. This campaign’s success can also be credited to the many generous and dedicated sponsors and media outlets who help support the event. The community’s kindness and solidarity become clear in the annual growth of volunteers, donations, and in-kind support.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our traditional food drive has been put on hold, as it's not possible to maintain the safety of all student, staff and community volunteers. Instead we are holding an online fundraiser, toward which we hope all community stakeholders, homeowners and businesses alike, contribute! The online donation page can be found https://www.n2ncentre.com/h4h
Neighbour 2 Neighbour
All donations collected from H4H go directly to the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, which serves all of the Hamilton Mountain, including Stoney Creek, Glanbrook and Ancaster. There are approximately 1200 families each month who rely on N2N for emergency food support, and 40% of those who benefit are children. Despite the donations of H4H exceeding 80,000 lbs over the past several years, most of the food is depleted by mid-January. The presence of poverty in this community is evident in the constant need for food, supplies, and services for people who depend on N2N. St. Thomas More has been recognized for giving the biggest single-day donation each year, and is a Platinum Sponsor of the N2N food bank.
Due to COVID-19, emergency food applications have increased 42% at N2N, and they have also seen an 88% jump in the number of food delivery requests. As this pandemic worsens, so too does the plight of those already on the edge of poverty. Our help is needed more than ever!