Western University students run food drive to pull community out of ‘a very dark place’ | CBC News

Six Western University students have banded together to donate up to 1,500 non-perishable food items ahead of the holidays.

The food drive is also in its second year with hopes of giving the London Salvation Army relief from a higher demand of usage.

“As the scale gets bigger, and as our vision for it gets bigger, there’s a there’s definitely more challenges that we’re being faced with,” said Colin Chataway, 20-year old student in Western’s Ivey honours business administration (HBA) program. 

The food drive started last year after the death of first-year student Gabriel Neil and a number of reported sexual assault incidents during frosh week.

Chataway and his roommates Theo Cho, Jackson Macphie, Owen Shuttleworth, Evan Morgan and Keegan Mitchell said they wanted to help Western’s community come out of the negative experiences with a positive one.

“It’s actually turned into something that we know can make an impact,” Chataway added.

Donations stockpiled in the group’s home for 2022 have already passed last year’s goal for 500 food items are are expected to double, according to food drive organizers. (Clement Goh/ CBC News)

Over 500 food items were donated during the first year. The group has already exceeded last year’s amount with a new goal of donating over 1,500 items.

This year’s effort came with added support from friends, family and Western University’s varsity rowing and lacrosse  teams going door-to-door for donations. People who donate will also have a chance to win two tickets to see a London Knights game.

“People are starting to recognize what we’re doing. I think with that comes a lot of the donations from outside sources,” he said.

Over 650 goods have been stockpiled in the group’s home and more are expected to funnel in ahead of their deadline for December 11.

Last year, the group organized a pickup with the Salvation Army and are prepared to make two trips this time.

“It’s almost guaranteed to be close to double the size this year,” said Theo Cho, a 20-year old student at Ivey who also helped organize and collect goods for the drive.

Theo Cho, a 20-year old student at Western’s High Ivey Business School, says the food drive doubled in scale with support from family, friends and more Western students going door-to-door for donations. (Clement Goh/ CBC News)

“It’s not necessarily about all the hours you put in, but it’s about how you feel after.”

All donations are expected to be sent over to the Salvation Army on December 11 with a last push to collect from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., while anyone interested in contributing can contact the group directly on their Instagram @westerncommunityfooddrive.

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