NL Eats began as a Facebook group to share reviews and highlight local restaurants through financial hardships stemming from Snowmaggedon in January and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today the group operates as a food bank, and through donations was able to put together 60 food hampers, which volunteers distributed to homes throughout St. John's over the Thanksgiving weekend.
"One of the coolest things about our food bank is that we are a mobile food bank," Lindsay Newman, director of external affairs for NL Eats, told CBC News on Sunday.
"Most food banks you actually have to provide your own transportation in order to go pick up your food. But, when everything shut down for the pandemic we realized not everyone had access to transportation."
Roughly 20 volunteers came together on Saturday and Sunday to put together the food hampers. Some collected the food, some assembled the hampers and others delivered them.
But, the group extends beyond the 20 people who offered their time this weekend to ensure those in need had food on their tables.
Newman said the group actually consists of about 100 volunteers, all working toward the same goal in tackling the challenge of food insecurity. While the food bank portion of the group remains on hold until a permanent location can be found to house its operation, Newman said the Thanksgiving weekend is an important one and it was necessary to provide the service.
"We wanted to make sure this weekend specifically we could put together the turkey dinner hampers and deliver those," she said.
Newman said donations from the YMCA and Community Food Centres Canada made this weekend possible, and NL Eats volunteers chipped in by running a recycling drive where they came up with about $200 to add to the cause.
"But that major donation that we secured through those organizations helped us to be able to provide turkey, ham, fresh vegetables, hygiene products, eggs, milk, canned food," Newman said.
"There was tons of different things in that hamper. It brought it from 20 per cent to 100 per cent which was a major help and we could not have done it without them."
Looking ahead the group is hoping to branch out across the province to provide the same mobile food bank service, but for now Christmas is next on the agenda.
"I think now we recognized the kinds of different fundraising we can do for an opportunity like this. So I think if we start fundraising now for Christmas ... we could do way more than 60 [food hampers]," Newman said.
"It's just magical to see the community come together in a time like this."