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‘Can Do’? Food drive organizers say yes

November 8, 2018

Last year, the city of Pasadena distributed more than 96,000 pounds of food through its annual Can Do Food Drive.

That was a record for the annual charitable initiative, and on Nov. 15, organizers hope to collect as much or more to distribute through nine local food pantries.

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., residents can drop off canned goods and keep the ninth annual Can Do event the largest giving-back event of the year for the city.

Using sponsorship support and hundreds of volunteers, the ninth annual food drive takes in donated food items that are provided to struggling families in the area.

Following the holidays, all the food collected from the Can Do drive will be distributed through recipient organizations like Sarah’s House, a nonprofit that provides temporary shelter for homeless women and their families, and the Pasadena Community Ministries, a network of churches that serves the needy.

Throughout the year, the city’s volunteer coordinator Barbara Sitzman works to generate participation by networking with citizens, groups and businesses to raise monetary and in-kind donations.

The drive also involves cooperation of Pasadena ISD schools who mobilize their own food drives.

“Seeing our students so enthusiastic about helping others is an extra bonus,” city spokesperson Laura Mireles said.

According to Mireles, when Can Do began, organizers would designate a list of recipients, but as it grew, local church groups, who ran their own food pantries, reached out to the city to widen the distribution.

This year, the project hopes to expand the recipient list even further by including the participation of four additional pantries.

“All the money is split evenly among the recipients,” Mireles said. “All the food items will also be equally distributed, unless a recipients’ pantry is too small to hold their allotment, then they have the option to accept less.”

Every year, participation grows, whether it’s from residents dropping off items, or the collective of organizations joining the city to help those less fortunate.

“One of the greatest things about Pasadena has always been the strong sense of community and work-ethic that our residents share, hence the name, ‘Can-Do Food Drive’,” Mireles said. “When you combine that spirit with our churches and our students, it’s an amazing thing to see happen.”

For more information, visit the Pasadena Can Do Facebook page.

yorozco@hcnonline.com

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