My name is Leah Dyck and I live in Barrie, Ontario with my 12-year-old daughter, Niah and our 3-year-old toy schnauzer. I started this community outreach program, Fresh Food Weekly because there was an imminent need for it. I’ve been an avid volunteer in a variety of industries ever since I attended Georgian College back in 2009- I’ve completed a diploma in Advertising, and a post-graduate certificate in both Social Media (Algonquin College) and Fundraising Resource & Development (Georgian College), in which I also received honours. I completed my program’s internship at Georgian Colleges' Fundraising Department in where I was first exposed to major gifts and endowments. But it was in my second year of College when I got my first taste of giving back as I ran a small fundraiser in support of the Barrie Women & Children's Shelter, the Season’s Centre for Grieving Children and Ratanak International.
Social Media & Sports
After College my interest in social media and sports peaked an all-time high and I started writing for a small hockey magazine called HockeyNow (they offered me a job after I submitted an article on Jarmo Kekalainen’s draft strategy). This is when I got my first real, in-person interview with a hockey player… and I didn’t even know who it was until I got to the MasterCard Centre and they told me it was two players: Hayley Wickenheiser and Marie Philip-Poulin. This is one of my top memories to date. My second published story with the magazine turned into that month’s cover story (October, 2015) and it went on to become the second, most-read cover story that year.
Forced to cover women’s hockey only with subject matter changing to major junior from time to time, I decided to write for The Hockey Writers for a couple years instead. It was during this time that I attended many hockey events, including the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four in Chicago, two NHL Scouting Combines (2016 & 2019), a couple of World Junior Summer Showcases in Plymouth, MI, and five consecutive Buffalo Sabres' Prospect Challenges- which is where I got to interview Rasmus Dahlin on camera.
Last winter I had the amazing opportunity of volunteering for the FIS Snowboard World Cup at Blue Mountain, in various media personnel capacities. This event featured more than 100 world-class snowboarders from 17 different countries, and I was able to interview a lot of team Canada right on the hill in the days before the race, as well as at the race itself. This was very exciting as it was the first time I worked with current Olympic athletes.
Now I’ve done nearly 100 athlete interviews, and I’ve personally interviewed more than half of team Canada and team USA preceding the 2019 World Juniors – as well as Canada Snowboards' Team preceding The FIS World Cup's last tour stop during the 2020 season. Unfortunately, Covid’s effects on the ‘event industry’ has cancelled everything from going to movie theatres to watching snowboarders race extremely far apart from each other.
Now I’m taking my need to get involved in the community a lot closer to home. There is an absolute need in our community for affordable food and there’s an even greater need for getting any kind of food – inexpensive or not, into the homes of people without reliable forms of safe transportation. No one should be subject to increased Covid exposure simply because they don’t have the means to avoid high-traffic areas such as bus stations/buses, taxis and cabs - all forms of public transportation. We need to reduce the need to leave our homes as much as possible and Fresh Food Weekly not only provides delivery, but also affordability to the people who need it the most.