Western University student Michael Boushy had one final project to complete before returning to Oakville for summer break.
What started out as simply clearing the kitchen cabinets of the household resulted in him and other students donating nearly £ 750 of food to the London Food Bank.
“I had to stay behind for a few more days, but it was great,” the 22-year-old finance student told Inhalton. “There was no resistance at all. I enjoyed it. It was fantastic.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year, Boushy, who was born in South Africa, has wanted to give back to the community.
On the Mustangs hockey player’s travels around London, he was south of Richmond Street, a part of the city that he doesn’t think college students go to often.
This is where most of the city’s poverty can be seen.
“I’ve seen this a couple of times and I think being from South Africa opened my eyes a bit,” said Boushy. “I just really wanted to do something for London and give something back with all the outbreaks and you (London Food Bank) welcomed us with open arms.”
Boushy opened the cupboards and noticed that a couple of his roommates were wasting a bit of food and he wanted to do something.
“A lot of my friends are just graduating and they really didn’t know what to do with their food,” he said. “I couldn’t think of anything better than to start with a little closet cleaning, so I started the end of the month. Kind of when people moved out or relocated or whatever happened and it worked out. “
He used social media to share with friends and other university students to collect their leftover food and excess groceries.
He had everything from Kraft Dinner to canned soup and pasta in his living room before making his first trip to the grocery bank with over 600 pounds of food.
With the support he’s received, Boushy hopes not only that this will become an annual tradition at Westerns, but that other universities and colleges, such as Sheridan College in Oakville, will support the food banks in their communities.
“I hope this continues 100 percent,” he said. “My sister will probably be coming to Westerns too, so who knows, if I go she might take it over.
“I want to expand it, given the traction it has got this year. I want to try to expand it, not just make it bigger in the west. I have the press now and the school gathered around my back towards the end and that was great. Hopefully next year they can help and promote it. “
Boushy says he also has many hockey buddies at universities in Guelph and Laurier and other schools. Maybe they could even summarize all of their sums.
“You never know, but hopefully something big will come out of it,” he said. “It was fantastic.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit some families very hard financially, and food promotions like this one could make a real difference in these challenging times.
Boushy says he spoke to his parents and his biggest takeaway from the conversation was how easy it is to make a difference.
“No matter how big your impact is or how significant the impact is, I think all I needed was a call to the London Food Bank, a simple infographic, and a simple post on my social networks. and it kind of took off.
“You never know what you can do and anything of any margin will help.”
Boushy is surprised at the media attention his story has received, but he just thinks he wants to do more.
“I wasn’t expecting all the traction this gained,” he said. “It’s almost overwhelming to be honest. If anything, I can think bigger and do a little more. “
PHOTO Courtesy of MICHAEL BOUSHY