Hunger is real and you can help

By Sean Delaney

Among the challenges food banks are experiencing, the COVID pandemic has also created a significant loss of volunteers, which threatens the ability of food banks to remain open.

Michael Verrelli and Brigette Contento have been volunteers at the W.A.E.S (Weston Area Emergency Support) before and since this pandemic started. Although they are ready, willing, and take great pleasure in contributing and helping, they are often left with feelings of helplessness.

“To actually be there at the food bank and witness the shortage of food along with the increasing numbers of families, seniors and children that rely on the food bank, it is overwhelming and heart-wrenching,” said Contento.

Not to stand by and watch, the two felt they needed to do more, so they initiated the Red Bag Donation Food Drive.

Together with the help of community members and their children, they delivered empty bags, door to door, hoping to have them filled with nonperishable food items. This food drive raised 5000 pounds of food within three communities. And while the food collection was a necessity, it also helped to bring the communities together in unity and to help teach children the importance of helping those in need.

“Community food drives are a great way to fight hunger, but it is also our goal is to create awareness for the needs that food banks are experiencing. Leading by example, we would like to give inspiration to communities around the city to take part in the Red Bag Donation Food Drive. We raised 5000 pounds of food in just three communities alone, imagine what a city of communities could achieve?” Verrelli said.

Michael and Brigette are willing to help anyone who would be interested in organizing the Red Bag Donation Food Drive in their community. They can be reached by phone or email.

You can reach out to Michael Verrelli at: 416 464 9007. Or,

And you can reach Brigette Contento at: 647 889 7411 Or,