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‘Not everyone is doing well during these times’ but together, Oshawa can feed those in need

After seeing a Facebook post about a ‘monster food drive in Montreal,’ Kristine Dandavino, wanted to do the same in Oshawa.

“If Montreal can do this, we can at least try. I’m a music teacher and I always tell my students we have to try!”

Following Dandavino’s suggestion, Caremonger Clarington and Oshawa is encouraging the community to take part in All Together Oshawa!, a city-wide food drive which takes place on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit Feed The Need in Durham.

Feed the need is a critical community partner that provides food supports to agencies across the region. During this time many people are fortunate to be able to work from home, but at the same time, many people are unemployed, struggling financially, and in need of help, Dandavino says.

Ward 4 city councillor Derek Giberson, who works closely with Oshawa’s homeless population, and is also the board president of the Back Door Mission says, “the contactless food drive is a great initiative and it has been great to see the way these informal networks come together during this time to have neighbours supporting neighbours.”

Giberson says Feed The Need does a lot of work not only to supply for individuals who need it, but they also support a lot of the agencies including the Back Door Mission and many others, who do great work in addressing food security in our communities.

He says, “Feed The Need is sort of the centre of a lot of the food access and stability infrastructure in our community for those who are struggling.”

Dandavino says, the reality is not everyone is doing well during these times. If people are able to donate even a small item, a can of tuna goes a long way,” she says, “it’s less than a dollar and it can help a family that needs protein. That is the key, people need protein to survive and to have a good brain and to function.”

OSHAWA- Kristine Dandavino, local music teacher, helps advocate for Caremonger Clarington and Oshawa's city-wide contactless food drive to benefit Feed The Need In Durham on Oct.18.
Kristine Dandavino, a local music teacher, helps advocate for Caremonger Clarington and Oshawa's city-wide contactless food drive to benefit Feed The Need In Durham Oct.18. Photo credit: Courtesy of Kristine Dandavino

Feed the need is in need of the following items:

  • Canned protein such as tuna, salmon and peanut butter;
  • Fruits and vegetables such as pasta sauce, canned veggies and fruit cocktail;
  • Healthy snacks such as granola bars, juice boxes, fruit cups and crackers;
  • Breakfast foods such as hot and cold cereals, pancake mix, syrup and jam;
  • Hygiene products such as shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Participants can contact 1-888-573-0982 or email to arrange a contactless pickup of donations from their curb or doorstep.

Dandavino says, “a food drive isn’t an opportunity for you to empty your pantry and get rid of the food you wouldn’t eat,” requesting people, “donate food that you would eat and that is healthy, so we can help others who just don’t have enough.”

Dandavino says, “from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. volunteers will be driving around Oshawa to gather food on residents’ curbsides and then at 3 p.m. we will distribute the donated food to Feed The Need In Durham.”

For more information, visit and to learn more about their work in addressing food security in Oshawa.