For three days, Southern California’s premier destination shopping and dining center will be transformed into a stunning display of charity and cheer as FOOD Share’s 5th annual CAN-tree Collection, hosted by The Collection at RiverPark and Cumulus Media, returns to Collection Blvd. This year’s event is crucial to the regional food bank’s effort to raise the 200,000 pounds of food needed to restock its warehouse shelves in preparation to distribute the 10 million meals that will be needed in the coming year.
In 2016, FOOD Share emptied its warehouses and depleted its cash reserves to feed the more than 136,000 children, families, and seniors in Ventura County who are still food insecure. In order to meet its commitment of serving 10 million meals to the community in the coming year, the food bank will need a total of 12 million pounds of food and an additional $1 million.
The 5th Annual CAN-tree Collection, December 2nd-4th, is the most critical food drive of the fourth quarter. The highly unique and visual event will draw crowds from all over Southern California to witness the building of an estimated 300 holiday trees - all constructed from between 600 and 800 canned goods each - sponsored and built by various community organizations, businesses, families, and service groups. Also on display will be two 14-foot can-trees each made with 10,000 cans assembled by students of ACE Charter High School. One of these marquee trees is sponsored by Dole Packaged Foods and the second is still available for sponsorship.
The CAN-tree build will be held over three days, with business teams building Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon, and community and faith-based builds taking place on Saturday. With each can donated at the event providing the equivalent of one pound of food, the CAN-tree Collection is expected to take FOOD Share 200,000 pounds closer to its 12 million pound goal in just three days.
Local PODS® franchise owner Steve Yapp has donated PODS® containers to help transport the canned good donations and CAN-tree building materials to The Collection at RiverPark, and radio hosts from Cumulus Media stations 95.1 KBBY, 103.3 The Vibe, 106.3 SPIN FM, and 100.7 KHAY will be hosting interviews and working live from a transparent Plexiglass PODS® container stationed on Collection Blvd.
For those who want to support FOOD Share this holiday season but aren’t able to participate on the weekend of the event, the food bank is offering businesses the opportunity to build CAN-trees in their offices or places of business. Individuals can contribute to the food and fundraising effort by donating online to FOOD Share’s virtual CAN-tree, or swinging by The Collection December 2nd-4th and dropping off cans at the FOOD Share booth. For every $25 donated, the regional food bank will be able to provide $125 worth of food to families in need. This year, FOOD Share’s goal is to raise $1 million in donations to help make the holiday season shine a little brighter for the growing number of seniors, children and families experiencing food insecurity.
5th Annual CAN-tree Collection event information:
Dates: Thursday, Dec. 1 from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Friday Dec. 2 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 3 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: The Collection at RiverPark, 2751 Park View Court, Oxnard, Calif.