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A food drive from your porch

Residents from around Oshawa gathered more than 2,000 lbs of food for Feed the Need in Durham

Caremongers Oshawa Clarington brought Oshawa residents together for the All Together Oshawa food drive. The organization gathered 2,072 lbs for Feed the Need in Durham. (Photos courtesy of Caremongers Oshawa Clarington)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Residents came together on the weekend in support of the hungry by leaving food on their porches for those in need.

Caremongers Oshawa Clarington invited Oshawa residents to participate in All Together Oshawa, a city-wide contact free food drive.

Participants were asked to leave their donations on their doorstep by noon on Sunday, Oct. 18, and, according to event co-coordinator Kristine Dandavino, Oshawa certainly came together.

“The response was overwhelming. We gathered 2,072 lbs. of food and gifts cards which were donated to Feed the Need in Durham,” she says, adding some residents simply chose to donate funds directly to Feed the Need.

She notes residents were thrilled to take part, and says several mentioned they had been looking for a way to give back.

Dandavino says the inspiration for the idea came from her time living in Montréal.

“As a former Montréal resident, I read an article where all of Montréal gathered food for the food banks as an effort to get the community involved in helping others,” she explains. “After reading this article, I reached out to my friend Zachary Simmons, founder of Caremongers Oshawa, and he agreed to support me in co-leading this project.”

This may not be a one-time thing, as Dandavino says she is considering making it a yearly event for Oshawa. But that doesn’t mean it has to be the only time residents donate.

“I invite any resident in Oshawa to start a food drive within their own networks. The need is urgent. Oshawa has over 170,000 residents. Together, we can help our Feed the Need in Durham as well as other food banks within our city,” she says.

Ultimately, Dandavino, who has lived in Oshawa since 2005, says the pandemic has affected everyone.

“Basic needs such as housing and food remain a constant battle and this should not be the case. We should not have to do food drives to help our citizens. Together, let us try to find a way to create opportunities in this city for employment, affordable housing, and a healthy community. If we work together, we can achieve this goal,” she says.