Trick or Treat for Canned Goods
Every year students at the University of Illinois Springfield participate in an event known as Trick or Treat for Canned Goods. This event is the largest volunteer event of the year for the campus (with the possible exception of Alternative Spring Break), and it is the by far the largest food drive the University does. It is a fun way for college students to continue trick-or-treating long past childhood, while also helping people in need.
Trick or Treat for Canned Goods takes the form of a friendly competition between many teams that sign up ahead of time. The goal is to collect the most canned goods and other non-perishable items to donate to local food banks. These teams are given a specific neighborhood to canvas. Canvasing there means going from door-to-door and telling the people about the event. They expect people to show up on Halloween and pick up any items the homeowner would like to have donated.
After a week of canvasing their designated neighborhoods, the teams then go out on Halloween night to pick up the donated items. Many people already have the canned goods sitting on their porch, waiting to be picked up. Some people don’t, but they leave their lights on. Just like kids seeking candy on Halloween, students go up to these houses and ask if there are any items to donate. It is fairly common for vehicles to become so filled with canned food that it is difficult to fit the entire team back in.
The food is then delivered to a central location to be picked up by the charity agency. This year the pickup was at TRAC. A weigh-in party with games and prizes took place, and separate prizes were given to the teams that had the most food per person and the most food overall. Once the food was all weighed, there were over 18,000 pounds. This is equivalent to over 9 tons, and over 50,000 meals. Every year so far, Trick or Treat for Canned Goods has donated tons of food to Central Illinois food banks, and this year is no different.