Drive-by event collects food donations in Burnaby

Donations to food banks are down during the COVID-19 pandemic – but the need for their services is not.

That realization has led to the creation of an Everyday Superheroes drive-by food donation event, set for Saturday, May 30 at the Cariboo Hill Secondary School parking lot.

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Realtor Aruna Khan and mortgage specialist Gloria Cooper are organizing the food drive.

“Presently, from reading posts, communicating with people and watching the news, it is evident that so many of us at home are feeling useless and are craving to help in some sort of way,” Khan wrote in an email to the NOW. “But, understandably, ‘helping’ is quite the challenge during COVID-19 as we cannot gather.”

After speaking with various food banks and community leaders, the two women found out that food bank donations have dropped dramatically since quarantine began – but the need for the food has not.

So the two are inviting everyone to a contactless food drive, running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot at Cariboo Hill Secondary School (8580 16th Ave., Burnaby).

How it works is simple: Just pack a bag or box in your trunk with your non-perishable food donations. Enter the school parking lot via 16th Avenue, and volunteers will guide you through the driveway to the drop-off spot. Once there, pop open your trunk from the safety of your driver’s seat. A volunteer, wearing gloves and mask, will take the donations from the trunk and leave a thank-you note for you.

“With the constant stream of sad/bad news and feelings of hopelessness, we believe that an event like this would not only life the spirits of the community but give everyone an opportunity to help support each other and make a difference in a very safe, easy and fun way during these challenging times,” Khan wrote.

Khan said organizers are grateful for the support of community leaders, including mayors Mike Hurley of Burnaby and Jonathan Cote of New Westminster, New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian and Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Katrina Chen, whom she noted have all expressed a hope to turn out and volunteer.

More information about the event, and other community links, can be found on Facebook in the group Caring During Covid-19 Burnaby/New Westminster.

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