Host Your Own “Cans Over Candy” Food Drive

Families in your community, in my community, need help. And kids can do a LOT toward meeting that need by asking for “Cans Over Candy” this Halloween to stock food pantries, like Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida or ones in your state.

My son Daniel, now 14, has never been a big candy eater. (Not even chocolate! Now THAT’s scary!) For most of his young life, Halloween was a time to get dressed up and hang out with his friends. He wasn’t all that excited about his “haul,” but in the experience of being together, and laughing, and just having a good time.

Having seen me participate in various charitable events at and in support of Second Harvest Food Bank, Daniel became interested in helping, too. At a family-friendly sorting event with y husband, he got his first look at what a food pantry does, and who it serves.

At the intersection of “what he enjoys” and “how he can help,” Daniel decided to start collecting Cans Over Candy.

In his first year, 2019, he handed out flyers a few days before Halloween to let everyone know what he was doing, so they could prepare. At “Trick or Treat” time, he went out with his friends (while wearing a Second Harvest Food Bank shirt) to collect for his food drive. (Click HERE to see his video.) Our generous neighbors came through with an overflowing cart of canned goods, boxed foods, and assorted bags of non-perishables that we delivered to Second Harvest Food Bank the following day: over 130 items (surpassing his goal of 120!).

Enter: Global Pandemic

Food Insecurity existed before Covid-19, but between lock downs, loss of jobs, families being directly impacted by loss of life, or illness, the need for communities to step up and reach out was increased. As Central Floridians, we saw a lot of hospitality industry friends directly impacted. The need was greater, so the goal was greater to collect items to help fill in the gap for people who might otherwise do without.

For 2020, Daniel upped his costume game and wore a Star Trek uniform and mask to collect what turned out to be DOUBLE what he collected previously. (Do we have amazing neighbors, or what?!)

Support your community by hosting your own Cans Over Candy food drive.

Feel free to download the flyer below, to support Second Harvest Food Bank.

(Click HERE for a PDF with no logo, so you can insert the name of the Food Bank in your area.)

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