NEW FRANKLIN Many people are helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic and doing so in creative and unique ways.

Portage Lakes residents, like many others, have always had a heart for helping others. On May 2, residents of the Lakes held a food drive, but not the normal drop off canned goods at City Hall. Instead, it was touted as a Dano’s Floating Food Drive to support local charities.

This food drive was done by boat.

Donations and non-perishable foods such as soups, cereal, pasta in cans, syrup, pancake mix, apple sauce, peanut butter, jelly, and canned goods were placed at the end of docks to be picked up by the 10 volunteer boat captains.

Residents placed the items on the ends of their docks by 1 p.m. for a pickup between 1 and 3 p.m. People who didn’t have a dock were able to drop off food items at Dano’s Lakeside Pub, The Upper Deck, The Ramp at Portage lakes or Pick’s.

Organizers of the event were Dano Mundy, Keven Adkins, Ed Diebold, Brookes Ames and Kelly Pariso.

Mundy said he had been hearing too many stories about folks in need during this COVID-19 lock down and thought they should try to do something to help.

“We had great success with the Dano’s Floating Food Drive on The Portage Lakes,” Mundy said.

He said the group put the drive together in three days. They had 11 boat captains: Tim Canter, Jeff Angeletti, Christine Guy, Bob Simmons, Damion Dolney Lorie Sasin, Pariso, Adkins, Diebold, Ames and Tammy Mundy and their crews collecting nonperishable goods and monetary donations from the docks.

“We had Savanah Adkins in Turkeyfoot Heights coordinating pick up donations in their neighborhood,” Mundy said.

Also lending a helping hand were four members of the University of Akron Water Ski Team – Daniel Mundy, Michael Mundy, Dalton Cox, Mitchell Bock – helping on land unloading boats and loading trucks which were donated by Sully’s Rent All. The collections were well coordinated from all locations and all together they collected more than 3,500 pounds of food and $2,400 in cash donations.

The charities that benefited from the floating food drive were Lockwood Church, Green Good Neighbors and the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank.

“Thank you to all of the Portage Lakes area residents, friends, and businesses that made this event such a great success,” said Mundy.

Every dollar raised provided four meals for those in need in the local communities. The foodbank is experiencing a decline in food donations and has lost revenue due to the cancellation of a major fundraiser due to COVID-19.

“I’m proud to be part of a community that cares so much about their neighbors and I was confident the Portage Lakes area residents would come together and help those in need,” said Pariso.