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Petersboro man’s ‘Just 1 can’ project helps fill food pantry’s shelves

March 1st, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Josh Ruggles

PETERSBORO — The Cache Food Pantry has been receiving multiple donations from a project started by a Petersboro resident over the past two months.

And it started with one can.

Ron Schwab decided to begin collecting small amounts of food from friends and neighbors as a family service project. With the help of his community, he and his family have created the project, Just 1 Can.

“Every time a family goes shopping they buy one extra can to donate it. That is where the name came from,” Schwab said. “Everyone does a little, so no one has to do a lot.”

Schwab recently received approval from Mendon city to begin expanding the program within their city limits, as well as get help from local scout groups to collect bags of food.

Since it began, Just 1 Can has consistently donated hundreds of pounds to the food pantry. And it has been instrumental in keeping the their shelves stocked, said Matt Whitaker, director of the food pantry.

“The best part about it, is that it is constant. Typically our donations come in spurts; we’re stocked then we’re not,” Whitaker said.

When Schwab started with about 20 families, they gathered over 120 pounds of canned goods. With the help of Mendon and the Scouts, Schwab is hoping to get around 400 families involved with the donation.

“I have this grand idea; instead of a big donation every winter, it can go all year round. Just one can, every time you are shopping,” Schwab said. “We as people need to do a better job at taking caring care of people.”

Residents in the area receive a bag to fill with food and once a week, volunteers pick up the bags off of doorknobs and porches.

“We don’t want to pressure people into donating, so the bags help with making it easy on people and faster for us,” Schwab said.

In the two months Just 1 Can has been actively donating, the response has been very positive from the food pantry, which has seen the shelves staying full.

“I have been quite impressed with it. It was an idea that he had and he ran with it,” Whitaker said.


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