A team of 69 Manitoba schools collected 11,871 kg (26,173 lbs.) of food during Winnipeg Harvest's 14th annual Operation Donation School Food Drive.
Another 5,493 kg (13,103 lbs.) of food collected at Manitoba Public Insurance offices was added to that for a total donation of 17,815 kg (39,276.1 lbs.). Project partners Canada Safeway and Peak of the Market then each matched that donation for a total weight of donated food of 53,558 kg (117,828 lbs).
The donations were unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday at the Winnipeg Harvest warehouse.
With support from the Manitoba Teachers' Society, schools across Manitoba from kindergarten to grade 12 had collected non-perishable food items during the food drive period of Feb. 25-March 1.
"This is the kind of work that changes people," said Paul Olson, president of the Manitoba Teachers' Society. "Keep up this awesome, life-giving work. Please don't give up on asking the hard questions on why this is even necessary and if there can be another way. That's my challenge to you."
MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said MPI helped start the annual campaign 14 years ago as a six-school challenge in the St. James-Assiniboia School Division.