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Church volunteers bring in 47,000 pounds of food in city drive

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Olivia and Chris Oosterhoff (left) and Mike and Hayden Matheson stand with the haul collected on Saturday through the third annual OneChurch Food Drive in Brantford. Submitted Photo
Olivia and Chris Oosterhoff (left) and Mike and Hayden Matheson stand with the haul collected on Saturday through the third annual OneChurch Food Drive in Brantford. Submitted Photo

The third annual OneChurch Food Drive in Brantford brought in a record haul Saturday.

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About 600 volunteers, working from nine different church hubs, collected, sorted and boxed 47,000 pounds – or 56 skids — of non-perishable food in a single day.

All of it will be donated to the Brantford food bank.

“This is a new record for us and we’re actively looking to grow this drive next year,” said Mike Bosveld, who co-ordinated the effort. “We hope to cover the whole town one day.”

Each of nine churches — Celebration Church, Freedom House, Bethel Reformed Church, Redeeming Grace, Grace Free Reformed Church, Mission City, New Life Pentecostal Assembly, Living Water and Hope Christian Reformed Church — organized collections in their own neighbourhoods.

The collection complied with all government social distancing directives, with food picked up on doorsteps and no door knocking. Food was boxed by each team. A designated team, wearing personal protective equipment, weighed and stacked the food, which will be quarantined to ensure it’s safe to distribute.

Bosveld said volunteers delivered flyers to about 20,000 Brantford homes last week, asking people to consider making donations, particularly of items in need, such as feminine products, canned meats and baby food.

“Some people go out and shop for us rather than just clean out their pantry,” said Bosveld. “It makes it more real for them.”

Bosveld and his wife, Taylor, also organize a similar drive in Caledonia.

“We’re always looking to expand and would love to get more churches involved next year.”

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