When Gavin Turner returned to Toronto to settle down, he knew the metropolitan city had a different reality to share than what he had seen from the outside. But who would have thought that trucking around northern Toronto neighbourhoods as a driver’s assistant for North York Harvest would actually give Gavin that bigger picture?
Since the Thanksgiving weekend in 2011, Gavin has been helping to drop-off food to member agencies and pick-up donations from stores and community supporters. Driving through the various neighbourhoods of Toronto, he shares, “It is hard to believe that there are people in Toronto who have to decide whether to pay rent or buy food. When I see people in need, instead of poverty I see humanity – what we can do to assist them.”
When Gavin drops off the collected food, it definitely makes it beyond just the door-step. “I don’t allow the recipients to haul off all the food boxes. If I were in their shoes, I would like to be treated that way,” says Gavin.
All those who know Gavin would also agree that he loves to talk and his route provides him many opportunities for just that. He does not get back into the truck without having a friendly chat with the coordinators at each delivery point.
Currently studying Neuroscience at University of Toronto, Gavin says, “Volunteering is a great way for me to participate outside of the university setting and to experience the practicalities of day-to-day life for those who have difficulty getting enough food on their table and seeing parts of Toronto I would not otherwise of known were struggling.”
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