'Every little bit counts': Cambridge man uses TikTok to raise money for local food bank

A Cambridge man decided to head to TikTok to raise funds for his local food bank.

A truck driver by trade, Brandon Lukach says he initially downloaded TikTok as a way to stay connected with people during the pandemic.

“I started doing livestreams because I drive a truck for a living, so it was kind of boring on the road and can be boring and lonely at times,” said Lukach. “So having people to talk to was kind of nice in a safe manner, and it grew into a small little community.”

Wanting to help give back to those in need in that community, he started with giving away gift cards, Posting on social media that he was hiding them throughout Waterloo Region and giving clues where they could be found.

Recently, a friend mentioned that the Cambridge Food Bank was low on donations. Lukach decided to connect directly with the food bank and take the small acts of kindness to a new level.

“Once we had something set in stone I was able to do the livestreams, and any gift that came out I was able to say ok this donation and gift is getting given to the food bank,” said Lukach.

Gifts sent through the app were converted into monetary donations, and he documented that a bank account was made for an e-transer option.

The TikTok-based drive was a first for the food bank.

“We do see a few folks who promote food drives and fundraisers on their Facebook and within their social circles but not to this extent,” said Sarah Tooze, the donor development manager for the Cambridge Food Bank.

The final tally collected was $1,400. Donations came in from all over the country.

“He explained that his local food bank was struggling and we was raising money to get the food bank back re stocked. At that moment I decided to also ask family/friends for donations because I’ve never seen someone care so much about giving back to others,” said Lorna D. of Montreal.

According to the food bank, they have seen an increase in the number of people needing to access their services, and that the donation from Lukach has gone a long way to help them provide what they need heading into the holidays.

“Every little bit counts. We’re able to stretch the monetary donations and purchase what we need when we need it,” said Tooze.

Lukach said he plans to continue giving back, and hopes to connect with the Sick Kid’s Foundation in Toronto next.