Rather than the usual situation of people feeding their pets, the furballs got a chance to help feed students at Fort la Reine School this time. Portage Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) held its Furball Social this past Saturday, and there was plenty of food leftover.

Fort la Reine School Teacher Claudia Verwey is an animal lover and was there.

"They graciously offered it up to Fort la Reine School for our breakfast and snack program. I ended up taking six huge trays of meat, cheese, pickles, buns and bread," says Verwey. "We feed the kids every morning and then Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we have snacks. Then Monday being Halloween, there are a lot of class parties."

She says Monday saw food put to good use. Verwey stresses PAWS is a not-for-profit organization that does plenty for our community.

"For them to think of us is really very sweet of them," continue Verwey. "The kids were pretty surprised and excited. It was the first time PAWS held the event in a few years because of COVID, so I'm thinking that as years go on, it will ramp up again and become more and more popular. It was a good turn -out. A lot of businesses in town donated a lot of good prizes, and all the pop and food and everything."

The event was held at Stride Place.

Verwey explains she teaches Grade 1 and 2, and she and the Grade 3 teacher shared a tray for their snack Monday.

Great foodGreat food!

"We didn't even make a dent in it," adds Verwey. "Yeah, so I'm thinking that this will get us through a week for sure. Then the bread... there were a lot of loaves of bread, so that does toast and sandwiches. And if a kid doesn't have a lunch, our snack program is great at making them sandwiches and cutting things up for them for a makeshift lunch for anyone who may have forgotten, or parents out of town, or whatever it may be."

Verwey says PAWS simply didn't want to see the food go to waste and thought it would be a great way to make use of it.

"Our kids, they love that social meal -- like the Kubasa, cheese, and pickles," says Verwey. "For a bunch of kids who can't go to socials, they love social meals. That's their favourite -- cheese, crackers, Kubasa, and pickles."

Thanks to PAWS for food donationThanks to PAWS for food donation

She notes they're dividing the bread up for their breakfast toast and the rest for snacks.

"If anybody's short for their snack that day, we have bins of food that they can help themselves to," says Verwey. "So, there's no shortage of food. But this week we are overflowing with food. That was a big event for PAWS to hold, and then they're still wanting to give and do for others. We just thought it was pretty special that that they did that for us, so we wanted to make sure that they got a shout-out. I'm a huge animal lover. All my students know that I'm an animal lover."

She says PAWS often comes in and speaks at their school to the students about safely interacting with dogs and cats.

Verwey adds she took the trays home with her following the Social Saturday night.

Claudia VerweyClaudia Verwey

"I ended up Sunday morning getting a hold of Mr Harkness, the principal. 'I need to take six trays of meat into the school.' So, he met me at the school and we unloaded," continues Verwey.

She explains it was all a last-minute idea and suggestion for the kids to use the extra food. 

"Yes, quite a nice way to use up the leftover food for sure," notes Verwey. "They're always so supportive of all that they do for the community. So, for them to reach out and help the kids, and not just the animals, that's excellent."