News Story

Mormons Help Set New Record at Winnipeg Harvest Food Drive

A record-breaking food drive was coordinated this past weekend by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

This marks the eighth consecutive year of the food drive for Winnipeg Harvest, a community-based food distribution and training centre. With the help of corporate contributions, volunteers collected over 100,000 pounds of food, setting a new record for the organization. In addition to the food drive in Winnipeg, Church units outside the city held their own service projects collecting for additional local food banks.

Earlier in the week, hundreds of volunteers distributed thousands of door hangers (flyers) inviting 60,000 residents to leave food donations on their doorsteps for pickup. With the help of local media promoting the event, volunteers drove around the city picking up, delivering, sorting and loading the collected items into trailer trucks provided by Canada Cartage.

Local Church member Wayne Drozdowski organized the event and said he considers volunteering as an “exchange” rather than a “service.” “We must consider that most people find themselves in need at some point in their lives. So today I may be the person with the ability to help, but tomorrow I may be the recipient of someone else's volunteer effort.”

The food drive comes at a particularly important time for Winnipeg Harvest because during summer the stocks are at their lowest point. Regular contributions tend to dry up, yet the need remains the same.

Belle DeGuzman, a youth member of the Church, has participated in the event for the past four years along with her family. She said, “[It is] something I really enjoy doing. ... I find that at Christmastime a lot of people donate, but sometimes the summer months get forgotten about and there’s that dip in donations. So it’s really important for people to donate so that there’s enough food for everyone.”

The food bank distributes to more than 5,000 families weekly.

Local Member of Parliament Rod Bruinooge was happy to lend a hand at the event and thanked the members of the Church for their “wonderful effort.” He said, “I was impressed by the efficiency of the operation; the volunteers were like a well-oiled machine.”

Drozdowski agreed that the efforts of all involved were outstanding. “We have received marvellous support from the citizens of Winnipeg as they have joined with [the Church] in a partnership of caring and sharing.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are encouraged to provide community service with their neighbours. Mormon volunteers regularly partner with government and non-profit organizations to support and improve the communities where they live.

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