Care parcels help students

Volunteers from the community, U of L and church groups in southern Alberta were on campus on Wednesday, Dec. 5 beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the University Hall Atrium to distribute approximately 300 Campus Care parcels to students.

The whole process took less than four minutes.

Now into its 11th year, the activity sees donated non-perishable food and other 'low-fuss' items, treats and cards of encouragement placed in a reusable bag and handed out to students just as exams and end-of-term assignments begin and, for some students, their money and food supplies start to run low.

This year, more than $8,000 worth of food was donated. Volunteers from 11 churches in Lethbridge and Southern Alberta have participated as donors, helped sort and assemble packages or help out on distribution day.

More than 2,300lb (1,052kg) of food was distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year, 317 parcels were available.

Ecumenical Campus Ministry, led for the past decade by Chaplain Erin Phillips – who holds joint appointments at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College – organizes the Campus Care Parcel project and many other efforts to engage students, including a dinner at Lethbridge College traditionally attended by more than 450 people, which this year was managed by volunteers from two Lethbridge church groups.

Campus Care Parcels By The Numbers:

317 – number of parcels available (bags donated by the U of L Bookstore/West-side Save-on Foods store)

$8,000 -- value of donated food products

2,302 / 1,052 – weight in pounds and kilograms of the items being distributed

9 -- number of minutes it usually takes to distribute the parcels

4 -- number of minutes it took this year

11 – number of churches involved

45 -- volunteers who helped fill parcels

18 -- number of years Ecumenical Campus Ministry has been active in Lethbridge

11 -- years of Leadership by Chaplain Erin Phillips