35th Irish Miracle Saturday

Students from St. Patrick's high school in Sarnia during the Irish Miracle Food Drive kick-off. November 27, 2018. (Photo by Colin Gowdy, BlackburnNews)

Students from St. Patrick’s High School hope to collect 9,000 bags of food Saturday morning for the St. Vincent de Paul food bank.

The 35th annual Irish Miracle Food Drive kicked off Tuesday morning at the school’s gymnasium.

Chaplin Joseph Palko said it takes an army to make the campaign happen each year.

“So usually we’re looking to get about 400 student volunteers, that’s kind of our base. If we get that, we can usually canvas every house in Bright’s Grove, Point Edward and Sarnia,” said Palko. “On top of that, we’re usually looking to get about 100 drivers at least. So usually all tolled, we get about 500 to 600 people out to help make this happen.”

Palko said volunteers can go to St. Pat’s at 1001 The Rapids Pkwy. Saturday morning around 8 a.m.

Student Food Drive Co-Chair Samantha Bedard said she’s been involved with the campaign alongside her parents, both former St. Pat’s teachers, since she was a kid.

“We always brave the cold, but it’s just so much fun and it’s so exciting to see how much the community gives back. To see all those cans and bags in your car, and then you bring them back to the church and it’s just flooded with food, it’s just so incredible to see,” said Bedard.

Fellow Student Co-Chair Isabela Gorgonio said once she got to St. Pat’s a few years ago, the decision to join the food drive was an easy one.

“If you’re from St. Pat’s, you need to do this, and if you’re not from St. Pat’s, you also need to do this because it’s really heartwarming and mesmerizing to notice how much of a difference this food drive makes in the community,” said Gorgonio ”

Residents are asked to place their donations outside their door December 1 between 9 a.m. and noon, or drop them off at the St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Bank at 228 Davis St. in Sarnia.

The 2017 campaign collected around 8,500 bags for those in need.