For the 46th year running, Hauser Junior High School students are collecting non-perishable foods for their annual food drive.

Those who have lived in the area for a long time can remember when “Mr. B,” aka Butch Berwanger, led the drive with the students around the Christmas holidays and the elaborate displays of the packages set up in the school auditorium before the Salvation Army would arrive to pick up the food. 

A couple of years ago, the PTO took over the event and moved it to the spring. The 2017 Canned Food Drive kicked off on March 20 and will continue until April 28. The goal is to collect 35,000 cans/packages of non-perishable food. 

Last year, the drive brought in 29,300 cans, which were divided between the Salvation Army and the Riverside Township Food Pantry.

Students incentives are being provided by Dunkin’ Donuts and Chick-Fil-A to bring in money and canned goods. An afterschool program, “can-struction,” will tapping into the creativity of students who will design sculptures to be assembled following the can collection. An example of the group’s creativity is currently on display at Aunt Diana’s Fudge Shop on East Burlington Street in Riverside.

Toward the end of the drive, on April 22, Hauser’s PTO will host Community Day in the rear parking lot of the school. Everyone is invited to the event to donate food or cash, view the student-designed sculptures, listen to live music, have fun in the jump house, and enjoy hot dogs. It’s a great way to show your support for the students, who are learning the spirit of helping others.

To learn more about the Canned Food Drive go to www.cheddarup.com/tabs/hauser-canned-food-drive-60060.

So when you do your grocery shopping, pick up an extra can or two or more, and be ready to do your part. Donations of money are also happily accepted. You “can” do this!