A “Lend A CAN” food drive barrel full of Del Monte products / Photo by Bethany Prange
Looking back on my childhood, I wish I would have had more opportunities to give back to my community.
I grew up in a small town where we had one elementary school, two middle schools and one high school. My parents went to church and I was involved in youth groups, but I can only remember one time volunteering at a pantry. One time…in 13 years of public school.
Maybe my mind is a little foggier than I would like to admit, but I just don’t remember anyone suggesting I help out with food drives or volunteer for a cause.
Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case here in St. Louis. Working at the Foodbank, I get to see kids from all walks of life giving back to those who are less fortunate.
Whether they’re from a school, a scout group or a church youth group, they all have one thing in common. At an early age, they’re experiencing the joy that comes with helping those in need.
It’s an important lesson to learn, particularly when you think about the fact that children under 18 make up the largest percentage of those receiving assistance from the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
That’s what makes a food drive like the “Lend A CAN” drive so great. It gets kids involved at an early age in the fight against hunger.
The “Lend A CAN” food drive is a collaboration between Del Monte and Shop ‘n Save that benefits the Foodbank and the 57,000 people that we serve each week.
The best part is that while schools are giving back to the community, Del Monte and Shop ‘n Save are giving back to the schools.
The school that collects the most food by the end of October will win $2,500 and five runners-up will win $1,000. That’s money that can be put towards books, technology or any other needs.
It’s easy to sign up and it can all be done online! Once you register, the Foodbank handles the rest of the details. We’ll deliver logoed barrels to the school and pick them up once your drive is completed.
We will gladly accept any non-perishable food items, but if you purchase 10 Del Monte products from Shop ‘n Save and mail in your receipt, you will receive a $5 Shop ‘n Save gift card in return.
Plus, if you have a soft spot in your heart for our four-legged friends, we will also accept pet food donations that we will deliver to Five Acres Animal Shelter in St. Charles.
The most important thing is to teach our children to help others. Now you can do so by participating in the “Lend A CAN” food drive. All the details can be found here.
Ryan Farmer is the communications manager at the St. Louis Area Foodbank