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CANS program to go ahead this Halloween

The annual tradition of a parallel door-to-door collection for the food bank is back on again after something of a hiatus last year due to the pandemic.

This year’s effort involves the latest group of volunteers for Citizens Always Need Supper, or CANS as most know it, which dates back to 2003. They’ll be continuing a tradition that started with a couple of 12-year-old Woodside Bible Fellowship attendees deciding to do something a little different with their Halloween evening, opting to go door-to-door collecting food bank donations rather than candy.

Last year, they switched to simply taking cash donations rather than going door to door.

Since its inception more, CANS has transitioned from being a student-run organization to receiving help from the Elmira church.

The 2021 version is being organized by Emily Schlueter, who’s also a student intern at Woodside. She said she’s looking forward to a good turnout Sunday.

“This has been going on for quite a while, so we’re glad to get to do it again this year,” she said.

“We’ve got about 100 students to senior youth group, so we’re expecting about that, or maybe a few more – we’re asking people to bring their friends and we’re also opening it up to people … who want to help out,” she said.

In recent years, CANS effort has brought in about 4,000 pounds of food during the Halloween-night blitz.

As usual, they’re asking people to prepare food donations in advance, setting them out marked bags or boxes for volunteers to pick up. All items will be sorted and donated to the Woolwich Community Services food bank.

“We’ll have everyone arrive at 5:30 (p.m.) and then we’ll send everyone out around 6. We’ll have the routes planned out for everybody – we’ll try to get most of Elmira. And then everyone will come back to the church at 9:30 and we’ll have people at the church putting food into boxes. We’ll have drivers going around to the youth and picking up the food in their carts,” said Schlueter, noting the Foodland grocery store has made grocery carts available to the group.

Anyone looking to donate to the cause before or after Halloween, or who is interested in volunteering can find more information through the Woodside website.

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