When the pandemic first began there was a lot we didn’t know, a lot of fear and a lot of hard times. People were losing their jobs, shops were closing down and basic needs were usually in short supply.
Debra noticed the need and started to collect the USDA food boxes that were being given out and distributing them throughout Lansdowne to the elderly as well as leaving some on neighbor's porches so that people who needed it could collect in a more convenient location. On average she was collecting at least 45 boxes each week!
When the program ended, Debra recognized that there was still a need. So she started providing food in 2 coolers along some canned goods. Every time she put food out it was gone within the hour! Debra continued to increase her efforts - driving to every distribution area collecting food. To this day Debra still provides food to the community and is doing her part to prevent food insecurities in the place she grew up.
Recently, some neighbors donated funds to purchase freezers to help Debra in her efforts to feed the community. Now, Debra is working to create a nonprofit called H.A.R.V.E.S.T - harnessing access and resources through value education, solidarity and transformation.
"It was an honor to give the Sycamore Award to Ms. Debra VanDornick", said Mayor Byrne