On Sunday Oct. 3, the Queen’s Football team was stationed at the front entrance of Metro
on Barrie Street collecting non-perishables for their annual initiative, the ‘Gaels Tackle Hunger Food Drive.’
The drive ran from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday and was done in partnership with the Kingston Food Bank. Gaels football players asked customers walking in and out of Metro to purchase or lend a non-perishable food item as a donation to the foodbank.
By the end of the day, the team had raised a whopping 1,126 pounds of food.
Afterward, the collected items were distributed to homeless shelters in the Kingston community for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.
“We just wanted to be able to get food and provide food to those in need and those that don’t have access to it during such an important holiday like Thanksgiving,” said defensive back Ashton Miller-Melancon in an interview with The Journal.
The Journal caught up with both Miller-Melancon, ArtSci ’25, and defensive lineman Liam Wrigley, ArtSci ’22, to gain some more insight on Sunday’s initiative.
As an upper-year, Wrigley has participated in the annual event for several years now.
According to him, the team brought forth lots of energy that gave many passersby the incentive to donate.
“We were really hyping people up when they were dropping food off and it seemed like everyone that saw it wanted a piece of it,” Wrigley explained.
“The support from the community is great, everyone was having a great time.”
The football team tackled the event in shifts, with younger players taking the first hour and upper-years coming in for the final hours.
Miller-Melancon, a first year, said that the drive started off slow, but after members of the team became more confident in asking for contributions, it didn’t take long for donations to pick up.
“Once everyone [on the team] started understanding what needed to be done and started feeling more confident […] that’s when the results really started to show and that’s when we started to get a lot of donations,” he said.
“By the end of it we had accumulated a lot of food, so I thought it was a great success.”
For Miller-Melancon and his teammates, giving back to a community that grants them so much at Queen’s and in football is very important.
“One meal can go a long way for someone, especially in this Thanksgiving season where it’s about coming together,” Miller-Melancon said.
“You really want to be able to provide something that people are going to cherish, and that people are really going to appreciate.”
Wrigley echoed this sentiment, praising the effects that these experiences give to members of the team.
“We do a lot of different community initiatives led by coach Kwame Osei, and it’s a great experience for everyone to be out there and enjoying it,” Wrigley said. “The football team as a whole really does enjoy just being out within the community and helping out.”
On behalf of the entire team, Wrigley stressed that team unity—both on and off the field— is very important to Queen’s Football.
“We’re here for four to five years, and a big goal by the football team is to be one of the most respected groups of people and the most respected team on campus and in the community,” he said.
“It’s just nice to be out and bringing some generosity, energies, and positive vibes into the community. The world needs that right now.”
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