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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

This Saturday, trick or treat for a cause

Trick or treating is a traditional activity on Halloween, but this year, candy won’t be the only thing being handed out. This Saturday, the Swimming and Diving team will be collecting canned food throughout the area, both on campus and in Grinnell at large. Whatever they collect will go towards the efforts of Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) to provide non-perishable foods to local food banks for those in need.

“There have been food drives in the past, and this year … no one picked up that responsibility, so the swim team captains decided that this was going to be our community service for this month,” said Kelly Bruce ’12, one of the event’s primary organizers. “[The team does] a community service project every month.”

Last year’s event was organized independently by Aaron Barker ’11, who recruited various groups around campus to help with MICA’s food drive. This year, swim team captains, including Bruce, Joseph Sinnwell ’12 and Sam Sherwood ’12 are taking on this task.

“This year, MICA’s moving to a new location, and they’re going to have a bigger food pantry, so we’d really like to try and fill that,” says Bruce. “We would like the help of faculty, and students to help [in] collecting more cans than we did last year.”

According to Bruce, last year’s food drive collected about 1,200 pounds of canned food from townspeople, many of whom had heard about the event through word of mouth. Those who hadn’t were still willing to donate, once they got over their initial suspicions.

“They were a little leery when we walked up, and we were like, twenty-year-old kids trying to go trick-or-treating, but then when they found out we were doing canned stuff they were very welcoming,” said Joseph Sinnwell ’12. “We said … ‘we’re Grinnell College swimmers … and we’re collecting cans for MICA,’ and people know what MICA is around here.”

Hoping to build on last year’s success, organizers this year have circulated an article in this week’s Grinnell Herald Register, and KGRN Radio has agreed to air details of the event. While hopefully this will increase the community response, the swim team also hopes to involve the student body here at Grinnell as well, in any way possible.

“Any contribution would be great,” said Bruce. “If [students] drop off money, then we’ll go to the store and purchase things that MICA wants. If students don’t want to go to the store, that’d be great if they brought … money.”

Students and other members of the Grinnell community are also welcome to drop off food or to go along with the trick-or-treaters.

“We’re shooting for over 1,200 pounds,” said Sam Sherwood ’12. “More than last year would be nice.”

If you want to pitch in, the food drive will accept canned or boxed foods that have not been opened or expired, as well as hygiene products like dish soap and laundry detergent. However, MICA particularly wants donations of soup, baked beans, ramen noodles, cereal, and pancake batter.

“They can take peanut butter, instant mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, canned fruit or canned vegetables,” Bruce said.

The team will be going around town to collect cans from the community, and anyone can drop a contribution off at the Charles Benson Bear Recreation and Athletic Center. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., drop-off will be available at the Bear until 8:00 p.m. Again, any unopened/unexpired canned or boxed foods will be accepted, and if you don’t have time to buy from the store, cash donations will also be accepted.

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