His drive helps quell hunger in Peel

Mark McKenzie and some of the donated food items he has collected in Brampton.  By Jasminee Sahoye
Mark McKenzie and some of the donated food items he has collected in Brampton.
By Jasminee Sahoye

Brampton resident Mark McKenzie has for the third year in a row successfully done his part to help reduce hunger in Peel Region.
McKenzie says his annual food drive to assist the Salvation Army of Brampton continues to succeed thanks to support from the community.
He said his goal this year was to collect at least 1,500 lb. of non-perishable food items by last Friday, Dec. 18. As of noon on that date, he had collected and delivered a total of 1,430 lb. of food to the Salvation Army but he expects to easily surpass his 1,500 lb. goal by Christmas Day.
The donated items include canned fish, pasta, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese dinners and coffee as well as other non-perishable foods.
Since 2013, McKenzie’s Holiday Season Food Drive has received tremendous support from community based non-profit organizations and local businesses. Over the years, he has collected and donated more than 4,500 lb. of food to Brampton Salvation Army.
Gordon Randell, director and volunteer coordinator of the Salvation Army of Brampton, expressed his gratitude to McKenzie. “The Salvation Army of Brampton is thankful for the time and effort you have invested since 2013 when you started your Holiday Season Food Drive.
“At the Salvation Army of Brampton, the food bank is our largest program and food is always in demand. On average we assist 600 families per month including adults and children. We serve families, as well as single people in Brampton, Malton and Caledon.
“The amount of food a client receives depends on the size of their families and can range anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds. The Holiday Season Food Drive and your other efforts help us in two ways – you are collecting food for the hungry and you are making the public aware of this need through your promotions.”
McKenzie, an advocate against youth violence, human trafficking, poverty and homelessness in the GTA, said “the issue of poverty and hunger in the Region of Peel is a growing concern,” adding that Peel’s poverty rate is higher than the provincial and national rate. “More than 40% of our neighbourhoods are low income and there are more than 220,000 who live in poverty.”
You can like and follow McKenzie on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Twitter @mackynacky.