April 3, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
London, ON – A project in one of Brescia’s first-year leadership studies courses has transformed into an advocacy project for the London Food Bank and local community.
Brescia students Beth Donchai and Julianna Mereu were members of a group project that was challenged to find ways of addressing issues of poverty and hunger in the London community. Through their research, the group identified an opportunity to hold a “virtual” food drive, where online donations could be allocated to the London Food Bank. It was the students’ hope to engage people digitally and online, in their circles of influences via social media.
“The objective of the assignment was for students to create an event beyond the classroom that would allow them to apply leadership concepts covered in the course. Not only did the students hit a home run with their assignment, they made a positive impact in our community – that’s leadership!” says Kathy Burns, Brescia’s first-year leadership studies instructor.
The course project raised over $400 and attracted attention from the London Food Bank and Glen Pearson, the Food Bank’s co-director. With the current state of the economy and increases in job loss, the London Food Bank found itself in greater need of help from our community. And, with social distancing measures impacting community events that require in-person contact, there was uncertainty surrounding logistics for the Food Bank’s annual spring food drive.
It was at this point the partnership between Brescia and the Food Bank began. Replicating the virtual food drive model implemented through their course work, Donchai and Mereu created a platform for the Food Bank to launch their first ever “virtual spring food drive.” It is the students’ hope that London area residents will donate funds online, rather than clearing out their cupboards.
“We wanted to make a positive impact in the London community and support the London Food Bank with a virtual way to raise money and assist those in need,” Donchai shares. Mereu adds, “We’re aiming to raise awareness of issues like hunger and poverty through social media. It’s our hope that Brescia and the London community will engage virtually with the annual spring food drive by donating online, to strengthen the London Food Bank’s resources at this very critical time.”
To donate virtually to the spring Food Drive, visit the London Food Bank’s donation page: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/930 and select ‘Virtual Spring Food Drive’ under the ‘Fund’ drop-down menu. All donations of $20.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.
See news coverage about this great initiative on the London Free Press at https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/covid-19-as-virus-crisis-drives-demand-london-food-bank-launches-first-virtual-food-drive and https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/covid-19-brescia-students-online-effort-perfectly-timed-to-help-london-food-bank-meet-virus-challenge, and on Global News at https://globalnews.ca/news/6682979/coronavirus-london-food-bank-coronavirus-precautions/.
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Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,600 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic University College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room, at http://media.bresciauc.ca/