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Collingwood mortgage broker giving away groceries to those in need

On June 11, Chris Dopp will be giving away 150 packages of groceries, supported, in part, by individuals and businesses in the community who heard about his quest to support people in hard times
Chris Dopp, who owns the Mortgage Centre in Collingwood, gave away 100 care packages to individuals hit hard by layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributed photo

Chris Dopp is giving away food, again.

The Collingwood mortgage broker is known in the community for helping feed families in times of need. For almost 20 years, Dopp has been giving out free turkey dinners days before Christmas, no questions asked.

Last month, he continued with the spirit of giving, handing out 100 care packages to individuals in the service or retail sectors who were laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This time, he received financial help from other individuals and local businesses, and was able to up his offering and prepare 150 packages for anyone in need.

“Times are tough and this is the way it should be, everyone helping everyone,” said Dopp.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on June 11, Dopp will hand out groceries to people on a first-come, first-served basis at his Mortgage Centre on 192 First St.

“There will be no questions asked,” said Dopp. “Just show up, get their food and away they go.”

With significant donations from Paul Colangelo, Scott Campbell, Julie Ford, Max Hahne, Guy Laporte, Craig Ashton, Steve McConnell, Blaine Bell, and other members of the business community, each individual or family will receive three bags of groceries to take home.

Contents of the grocery package include pasta, tuna, oatmeal, crackers, bread, eggs, peanut butter, five pounds of frozen chicken breasts, and even cookies and fruit cups for the kids, among several other items. Mars Canada also donated rice to be divided up and Heretic Spirits provided a bottle of hand sanitizer for each package as well.

Dopp said this time, he will also be offering delivery to anyone who is housebound or can’t make it to the Mortgage Centre that day.

With social distancing restrictions still in place, Dopp said he has had to overcome some unique obstacles.

“It’s tough, with social distancing I can’t get a group in here to help packing like I do at Christmas,” he said. Dopp has done most of the shopping and packing himself, and on June 11 he will have to set up outside the Mortgage Centre since people still can’t come inside.

However, if the situation remains the same, Dopp plans to do it again next month. He said the stories that come out of it are heartwarming. Last time, he handed a package to a person walking by, who walked directly to Tim Hortons and returned with a gift of a dozen donuts.

“I am lucky I have been able to work, I am lucky I still have some money coming in,” said Dopp. “What am I going to spend it on?”

“I always say to people, I have never seen a hearse pull a U-Haul. You can’t take anything with you,” he added.