We CAN do it with canned food drive

Published 12:46 am Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — We CAN do it — together.

Economic woes in an already economically stalled area have made life in the Miss-Lou more difficult for many people.

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In an effort to combat those woes, unite the community and have a little fun, The Natchez Democrat is sponsoring a community-wide can drive, with a twist.

The canned food drive — to span the next two months — is in conjunction with the newspaper’s annual Profile special section. The Profile theme this year is “Common Bonds: Our essential elements.”

“We wanted to do something to literally ‘bond’ our community together,” Managing Editor Julie Cooper said. “We are all capable of doing something to help our neighbors, so we decided a community-wide service project was best.”

The “We CAN do it” challenge begins today and continues through Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Any business, school, church, club or other organization can participate by collecting canned food items at their designated location.

Any type of non-perishable food item will be accepted, as long as the original label is intact.

But — to make things more fun and interesting — this competition isn’t just about collecting cans.

Teams will compete in five categories not only to raise the most cans, but also to get creative with their collection.

On Jan. 27, 28 and 29, each team is encouraged to use the canned items they’ve collected to build some type of structure.

“The structure can be as simple or as complex as the teams would like,” Cooper said. “And it can be anything your imagination can dream up.”

Teams can set aside building time on any of the three designated days, build their structure and call The Democrat office during business hours.

A Democrat employee will come to the team to take a photo of the structure.

Structures will be deconstructed, and collected at this time for eventual transport to local non-profits.

Photos of each team’s entry will be published in the Sunday, Jan. 31 newspaper.

Newspaper readers will be encouraged to pick a favorite structure from each category, and come by The Democrat office the following week — Feb. 1-5 — to cast their votes.

Votes will cost .50 cents each, and all proceeds from voting will go to a local charity.

Photos of winners from each category will be published in Profile 2010 on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Canned goods collected during the competition will distributed to the Natchez Food Pantry and Vidalia Feed the Hungry during the first week of February.

All money raised through voting will be sent to the Natchez Stewpot.

The Natchez Food Pantry distributes food to 400 families with weekly distributions.

The Stewpot provides 300 meals daily.

Feed the Hungry distributes approximately 300 boxes of food a month.

The categories for the contest are:

-Large business (more than 40 employees)

-Small business (40 or less employees)



-Civic group/other

Any questions about the contest can be directed to The Democrat at 601-442-9101.

“We want to see dozens of teams involved in this project and thousands of cans raised,” Cooper said. “Hopefully everyone can get involved in some way.”

Residents not affiliated with a team can drop off can donations at The Democrat front office or at their favorite local business competing in the project.