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Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre Community Involvement During Pandemic

Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre (KCCC) together with the Second Harvest – Food Rescue has just concluded the distribution of frozen food items to the different families in the community in this trying times during a pandemic. It was a showcase of what Filipinos call the “Bayanihan” spirit where individuals come together to help one another by volunteering work for the good of those in need.

On October 23, 2020, 17,340 lbs. of frozen food items were delivered to the Centre by a 53-foot truck. Sorting and distribution needed to be done in the quickest manner so that the food will not thaw and go to waste. The board of directors, together with several volunteers, worked with limited resources to unload, allocate and call groups to pick up the food. The volunteers successfully accomplished the tasks so that at the end of the day, all the food items were distributed to the families who came to KCCC to pick up their share. The volunteers were also uplifted by the presence of Mayor Bonnie Crombie who came late afternoon to observe the distribution and thank the volunteers for their work. The second truckload of 12,200 lbs. of frozen food arrived on November 26, 2020 and another 600 lbs. of frozen food arrived on December 16, 2020. The food consist of chicken fingers, chicken thighs, chicken legs, cheese egg omelet, shrimps, French fries and chicken breast All the 30,140 lbs. of food were distributed to shelters like Covenant House, Good Shepperd Ministries, Church group, seniors and others who need help during this challenging time.

To keep the KCCC members engaged during this challenging time, KCCC has also been conducting webinars since May 2020 on health and wellness and other relevant topics to the community.

Dr. Maselle Gaerlan Virey, a medical practitioner specializing in psychiatry discussed COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health and did a subsequent webinar on Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Health. Pet lovers were engaged in a webinar led by veterinarian, Dr. Irene Neri-Arboleda on Pets and Coronavirus and a second webinar on knowing the diseases that can be transmitted by pets. On the technology side, Professor Ram Nolasco conducted a session on how to go LIVE using Facebook, ZOOM, Google Meet and YouTube for video chats and live streaming.

In collaboration with the Philippine Consulate General Toronto, an information session on consular services, SSS and Pag-ibig benefits was held with participants getting the opportunity to ask their questions and obtain responses directly from the Consul General and the representatives from SSS and Pag-ibig. A self-help webinar on harnessing each one’s inner sales potential was presented by Noel Laurella, marketer and relationship builder and we also had Danielle Farrell, Public Education Coordinator of the Alzheimer Society Peel conduct a webinar on Taking Control of your Brain Health.

To find information on future webinars and the next Food Rescue distribution, please check http://www.kalayaancentre.ca.

Volunteers preparing donated frozen food boxes for delivery to Covenant House
Elvie and Ed Tan, Kalayaan volunteers
Arrival at the Covenant House

Chyrell Samson and Anzelm Sitchon working at Covenant House to sort the frozen food box donations solicited by Kalayaan Centre

Volunteers sorting and preparing frozen food box donations
Kalayaan volunteers with frozen food box donations for delivery to Covenant House.


By Judy Montenegro and Ram Nolasco



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