BostonCANShare: Armed with cans, city wages a war on hunger

Donated food items at the Greater Boston Food Bank. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Donated food items at the Greater Boston Food Bank. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

With the holiday spirit in full swing, Boston residents are showcasing their generosity by helping to fight food insecurity in the region.

Now in its 27th year, BostonCANshare works with every city agency and department to collect 50,000 pounds of food for the hungry. This year, the effort is also seeking to raise $100,000 in direct contributions to the Fresh Food Fund initiative.

“We set out when planning this year’s campaign with the goal of making it the most successful yet, in large part due to the fact that it’s Mayor (Thomas) Menino’s last campaign,” said Emily Finn, CANshare coordinator. “He really championed CANshare throughout his time as mayor.”

And according to the city’s Office of Food Initiatives, the need in Boston is there.

One in five Bostonians go hungry, and nearly half of the Greater Boston Food Bank’s clients must choose between heat and food.

This week, as CANshare winds down, organizers are offering dozens of rewards to those who donate money to the drive online. Prizes include Boston Celtics tickets, a personalized street sign, a Christmas tree, a year-long Hubway membership and more. Winners are selected at random and will be notified by email.

As of Monday, CANshare had raised about $25,000 toward its $100,000 goal.

“We are really excited to see what this fundraiser will do to that number. I think it’s an exciting way for us to thank people for being engaged and also to incentivize them,” said Finn. “(CANshare) has been incredibly successful throughout its history, and I really think it’s due entirely to a broad base of Boston residents and constituents being engaged.”

According to a recent report by Project Bread, more than 700,000 people in Massachusetts struggle with food insecurity – a number almost 40 percent higher than it was prior to the recession, and almost 80 percent higher than it was at the beginning of the last decade.

To help guide donors to the more than 500 pantries scattered across the state, Code for Boston recently launched pantrypickup.org, a map-based database that shows the location, contact information and open hours of all facilities.

“People are predisposed to giving right now, and we figured this would be a way for them to give to their community,” said Kristen Weber, project manager of pantrypickup.org.

“Boston at first glance seems to be very affluent. Hunger is something you may not necessarily see first hand, but it’s there. It’s also something that people don’t often talk about. I think bringing it to the forefront of the conversation is important.”

CANshare Prizes include:

Monday 12/2 (Theme: Authentic Boston)

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Personalized City of Boston Street Sign, $10 min. donation
1-2 p.m. – 5 pairs of Boston Duck Tour passes ($68 value per pair), $10 min. donation
3-4 p.m. – A family four-pack of tickets to The New England Aquarium and IMAX ($125 value), $50 min. donation
4-5 p.m. – Mike Napoli signed baseball, Will Middlebrooks autographed bar, OR Jarrod Saltalamacchia signed jersey, three random winners, $10 min. donation

Tuesday 12/3 (Theme: Holidays in Boston)

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – MBTA Token pendant ($80 value), $10 min. donation
1 p.m. to 2 p.m. – A fresh-cut 6-8 foot Christmas Tree ($85 value), $20 min. donation
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Samuel Adams Gift Basket ($100 value/no alcohol included), $25 min. donation

Wednesday 12/4 (Theme: Groceries/Home Cooking)

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – One of FIVE$40 gift cards to Stop & Shop, $10 min. donation
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. –$100 gift card to Shaws/Star Market, $25 min. donation

Thursday 12/5 (Theme: Sports and New Years’s Resolutions)

10-11 a.m. – One-year Hubway membership,
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — BU Men’s Basketball vs. Harvard. Sat. 12/7, 1PM @ Case Gym (2 sets of 4 tickets) $25 min. donation
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. — BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Merrimack. Sat. 12/7, 7PM @ Agganis Arena (2 sets of 4 tickets) $25 min. donation
1 p.m. to 2 p.m. – 3-month YMCA membership, $25 min. donation
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Two tickets to see the Boston Celtics take on the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 18, $50 min. donation
4 p.m. to 5 p.m. – A four pack of Boston Celtics Suite Level Tickets (most games), $75 donation

Friday 12/6 (Theme: Boston Restaurants)

10-11 a.m. – $50 gift card to Minibar, $10 min. donation
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — $100 to Sweet Cheeks, $25 min. donation
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. — $100 to Tavern Road, $25 min. donation
1 p.m. to 2 p.m. – $100 to Pasta Beach, $25 min. donation
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. — $100 to Stephanie’s on Newbury/Stefi’s on Tremont, $25 min. donation

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…