Local youth creates challenge to help Orangeville Food Bank

November 20, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A local youth started his own initiative to help the Orangeville Food Bank when he realized that some programs were not operating due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twelve year-old, Jaylen Padayachee, a grade seven student at Credit Meadows Elementary School decided to give notice to his neighbours that he would be collecting non-perishable food items to be delivered to the Food Bank.

He made a letter and hand delivered it to homes on his street with some help from his six year-old sister Isabella.

The result was a donation of 317 lbs. of food that Jaylen and his dad Koven collected.

“We all decided to sit down and write up some ideas because the school food bank programs weren’t happening at the time,” Jaylen explained of how he came up with the idea to help the food bank. “We decided to help other people and by the time we were done, it started to spread because we made it a challenge. It was me and my sister. We delivered the letter on Sunday and collected everything on Thursday.”

The letter was simple and to the point.

Jaylen introduced himself and explained he was trying to help the Food Bank. He asked for people to leave donations on their porch or they could bring the items to his house and leave them on his front porch.

“At this point we hadn’t even contacted the Food Bank yet,” explained dad Koven. “We didn’t know how much we would collect. In the letter we said we would come by on Thursday between 4:00 p.m and 6:00 p.m. and if you wanted to leave donations on the porch in a box, we wouldn’t have to worry about COVID and ringing doorbells. We also left a box outside of our front door on Meadow Drive and we had quite a few people drop things off. On Thursday I drove the van and my son, my daughter, and my son’s friend helped, and we collected all the boxes. Some people put a note on the box saying ‘thank you.’ We collected about 15 boxes. We had 317 lbs. from just our street alone.”

Coincidentally, local Food Bank volunteer, Dan LaCute, lives on the same street as Jaylen and had received the letter. He arrived later in the day to thank them for their efforts.

Mr. LaCute personally picked up the donation and took it to the food bank and put it on a scale and let them know they contributed over 300 lbs. of food.

The successful result lead to a Facebook challenge to see if other streets would take up the cause and try to beat their total.

So far, 11 other streets have accepted the challenge. To make it really interesting, once you complete your own challenge, people are asked to challenge another street to keep things going.

The results are being posted on the Facebook page.

“We were excited,” Jaylen said. “We thought that since COVID was going on we would only get a few boxes. But when we got 317 lbs. we really got excited.

You can be part of the challenge by visiting Facebook and going to the Orangeville Food Bank Street Challenge page.

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