March 6, 2019 8:08 am
Updated: March 6, 2019 12:48 pm

Students visit Winnipeg Harvest, gain understanding of poverty close to home

WATCH: Students from Neepawa get a first-hand look at the work of Winnipeg Harvest.

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A group of students in grades 6 to 8 from Neepawa, Man., made the two-hour trip to Winnipeg on Tuesday.

The students volunteered at the Winnipeg Harvest, doing everything from portioning to bagging and sorting donations.

READ MORE: 10th annual Souper Lunch for Winnipeg Harvest preview

Their goal was to get a better understanding of what poverty actually is, an experience that resource teacher Sherri Hollier says is a great reality check.

“There’s a lot more going on in the world outside of our small town of Neepawa, Man., and there are a lot more needs out there that they’re not even aware of,” Hollier said.

Students packaging beans at Winnipeg Harvest.

Alison MacKinnon/ Global News

The students — like many adults — had misconceptions about who utilizes the food bank.

“I always just thought that the people using the food banks was just homeless people on the streets,” said Grade 7 student Jayden Hayke.

Students sort through beans at Winnipeg Harvest.

Alison MacKinnon/ Global News

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“I originally thought that people who were homeless or used shelters and stuff were the only ones who used it,” added Grade 8 student Bailee Vandekerckhove.

The students met Kerry Weyman, who utilized the food bank in order to feed her children and now volunteers to help others.

“Harvest came through; I was able to get formula, diapers, clothes and food, and it just progressed from there. They’ve really helped a lot,” Weyman said.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Harvest launching school breakfast program – for weekends

After listening to Weyman’s story, the students had a better understanding of poverty in the province.

“There are people who are put in situations where they don’t have a home, they don’t have breakfast or they don’t have that much lunch to eat. It kind of makes you feel guilty and sad,” said Grade 8 student Emma Gale.

The students are planning on starting their own food drive to support their community in Neepawa.

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