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Stamp Out Hunger this weekend

By Sara Carson, Orillia Packet & Times

Uptergrove's tiny school with the big heart is calling on the community to help it surpass its goal of collecting 1 million food items.

Over the past six years, the Stamp Out Hunger campaign has collected 865,000 items to feed area residents. That leaves 135,000 items to be collected this year.

Half a million were collected during last year's campaign.

"This year, we said let's top the million. We're well on our way, for sure," said Dave Clark, food drive co-ordinator and teacher at Uptergrove Public School in Ramara Township.

The annual food drive began 12 days ago and items have already been sent to those in need.

"Twice, the students have handed to the (Sharing Place) food bank, and earlier this week, we did one to the Couchiching Jubilee House," Clark said. "(The students) were very awestruck by it because they know the need is right now."

Stamp Out Hunger's main event - three days of canvassing Orillia, Ramara and Rama First Nation - began Friday evening and continues all day Saturday and Sunday.

The Orillia OPP, OPP Central Region and the Orillia, Ramara, Rama and Severn fire departments will join Uptergrove Public School students in their fundraising efforts.

"It's caught on so big and we can't do it alone," Clark said. "So many people have jumped in."

All donations will be given to local food banks, shelters and church groups.

Food items and donations can be dropped off this weekend at the Stamp Out Hunger collection locations at Walmart, Zehrs, Tim Hortons on Memorial Avenue, Orillia Square mall, Tim Hortons near Uptergrove and locations in Rama and Brechin.

"If you can help us, we will certainly be thankful for that so we can help others," Clark said.

Donations can still be made to Stamp Out Hunger by calling Uptergrove Public School at 705-326-4332.

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