A Charleswood resident is collecting donations for Winnipeg Harvest, helping to feed people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jennifer Lucas started "1 Can for a Hungry Man" as a food drive. She decorated and placed food collection bins around Charleswood. Residents can donate canned food, which Lucas collects at the end of the day and to donate to Winnipeg Harvest.
Lucas started the campaign two weeks ago. She said she’s blown away by the response.
"After the first day (I started this,) I was flabbergasted. I received so much food. So I started another one … That filled up as well. I’ve been getting so much food," Lucas said. "Every day when I bring in my bins, I start to cry. It’s so wonderful to see how supportive everyone is."
Lucas said she’s donated six big boxes of canned food to Winnipeg Harvest so far. Winnipeg Harvest collected the donations on April 27, along with a few other perishable food items that Lucas purchased like bacon and produce.
Lucas added that she takes every precaution with the bins. She washes the bins with soap and bleach every morning and evening, and she also cleans any canned food she receives before donating.
Currently, Lucas has three bins set up: one outside her home, one near the mailbox at Betsworth Avenue and Scotswood Drive and one on Scotswood near the Harte Trail. She said, initially she didn’t know how the bins would be received.
"Once the (COVID-19 pandemic) started, I was confused and sad, like a lot of people. But all I could think about was everyone else," Lucas said. "I started thinking about how I could help out … So I thought ‘hey, let’s paint a bin and put it out front, see what happens.’ Eventually, I put out the other bins. Someone found one, posted it on Facebook, and it blew up from there."
Lucas posts all of her updates on Facebook. She’s also auctioning off a signed hockey stick from the Winnipeg Jets 1997 team, with the proceeds going to families in need. She estimates that the bins have brought in thousands of dollars in donations.
Lucas hopes that this will inspire other residents to place bins in their community.
For more information, find 1 Can for a Hungry Man on Facebook.
Community journalist — The Metro
Justin Luschinski is the community journalist for The Metro. Email him at email@example.com