Youth from across the region are going around to collect food all over Steinbach, Blumenort, and Mitchell for South East Helping Hands. 

Ken Dyck says they start their food collection today (Monday) and are going until Thursday. Pick-up will be from 5pm to 8pm each evening.

“Well, we've got four days of youth going around to collecting food all over town. They tell us they're going to hit every street in all three towns.” 

He says the kids will ring the doorbell or knock on your door to collect the non-perishable food items. But if you’re not home you can leave food out on your doorstep and the kids will know to pick it up. 

This collection is a great opportunity for youth to be able to get involved with volunteering in our community. Dyck says volunteering now will get them in the habit of volunteering as they move into adulthood. 

“The youth are the big focus and our strong point over all these years. It’s a big teaching moment for a lot of them.”  

They have plenty of trailers and bins that they are eager to fill up with donations. 

Dyck says that this is their biggest collection of the year. He gives a few suggestions on helpful things to donate. 

“Cereal is always a big thing. It's something that everybody wants and needs and we go through quite a bit of it. Then there are mixed vegetables, you can go to pasta, rice, there's so many different things,” he says. “Hygiene stuff - people don't always realize it, but we give that out too. Like soaps and shampoos and all that.” 

They put a lot of thought into making hampers. 

“Normally I'd put 7 or 8 things in the bag, and I try to change it up. We don't eat the same thing all the time, so I try not to make them eat the same thing all the time.” 

After they choose the initial items, they like to add bread, milk, eggs, produce, and when they have it, chips. 

The food drive is an annual tradition that has been very important to South East Helping Hands.