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
Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.