Inspired by a One World concert livestream, a Collingwood resident mobilized her community for a large-scale food drive, raising several thousand dollars and many pounds of food for local charities.
Danielle Belec created One Collingwood after watching the One World live stream concert online and then rummaging through her cupboards where she found more food than she could eat.
“I knew right then I had to get this food to the foodbank,” said Belec.
She reached out to her neighbours in the Silverglen Preserve asking who would like to join her for a food bank drive, and got 100 responses. She increased the ask reaching out to her network of friends in other Collingwood subdivisions.
“I just went to town,” she said.
She and about 20 volunteers arranged a collection and drop off day. They drove around to participating homes and collected food and cash donations from the end of the driveways. They did two drives on April 30 and one this morning, and have collected more than $5,000 and several trunk loads of food all delivered to the Salvation Army Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul food bank.
Additionally, Belec received support from a local storage facility, which committed both a mover and a storage container for food donation overflow should the foodbanks run out of storage space.
Now Belec would like to “pass the torch.”
She has created the One Collingwood model, complete with delivery car magnets, and physical distancing guidelines, and she wants to see more groups in the community using the name for their own food drives.
“Imagine if multiple communities in our town began stepping up to organize their own food drives under one banner, One Collingwood,” said Belec. “It’s super easy to donate.”
Belec has contacted both food banks and said she would work with others in town who want to coordinate a food drive.
“I would help anyone do it … they need to take the torch and get organized with their neighbours,” she said. “I think the basic necessity of the food needs for many in our Collingwood and surrounding communities will be under pressure for some time due to the virility and ripple effects of COVID-19.”
After wrapping up the rainy Thursday drop offs at each of the food banks, Belec said she’s proud and grateful to all those involved.
“It’s totally overwhelming for us all,” she said.
If you would like to use Belec’s One Collingwood model for one of your own food drives, contact Danielle Belec by phone at 416-318-6779 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.