For its fifth annual event, the can-a-thon benefiting local food banks has moved to downtown Cartersville.
The Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce will host the can-a-thon during a street party Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. Hot dogs, hamburgers, a live event broadcast on WBHF Radio AM 1450 and music provided by the The Tom and Chad Show are among the attractions donators will be able to enjoy. Collaborators include The Bartow Business and Contractors Connection, the chamber of commerce, the Cartersville-Bartow County Community Foundation, The Daily Tribune News, McStatt’s Printing, The Tom and Chad Show and WBHF.
“This is a true collaborative event and it’s the same group of folks who have done it in the past,” said chamber employee LaDonna Jordan. ‘[It’s] just, in order to kind of change it up a little bit, and we were hoping with it being downtown that we might get a larger response and greater donations.”
In the previous four years the can-a-thon had been held at Phoenix Air, and once collected more than 67,000 pounds of food. Jordan hopes donations will exceed last year’s collections, which will go toward restocking shelves at the North Bartow Community Services in Adairsville, Harvest House, the Salvation Army in Cartersville and New Beginnings Food Outreach in Acworth. By working with the four food banks, Jordan said the drive would be able to cover all of Bartow County.
Chamber President and CEO Joe Frank Harris Jr. said the event was one way to highlight the unity that exists in the county.
“I like the idea of our motto: chamber serving businesses, businesses serving the community. ... We can serve even businesses who are not members. I believe if we serve them enough, they’ll join,” he said. “But then I think it’s right in our mission to motivate businesses and others to serve back our community and people who need food over Thanksgiving. ...
“Because ... I think seeing all these people involved in this project, that’s what’s promoting the unity in the community that’s carrying us so far right now.”
Jordan said organizers will set up a drive-through to make donations as quick as possible. By driving into the parking lot from Main Street between the chamber and Legion Theater, donators will have their vehicles unloaded by volunteers.
There was one detail Jordan asked donators to consider when they raid their pantries for canned food — check the expiration dates.
“It saves the staff, and it saves a lot of volunteer hours because the food banks are mostly manned by volunteers, and I’m sure they can use their time other ways other than going through and checking cans to see what the expiration date is,” she said.
For those interested but unable to donate non-perishable food, organizer Tina Jennings said there was always the option of making a monetary donation.
“If they don’t have cans that they want to contribute, or they forgot about it, they’re welcome to swing by and give us $10 or write a check,” she said. “The check can be made out to either the Cartersville-Bartow [County] Chamber of Commerce or the Community Foundation of Bartow County, and that will be specifically to purchase food for the can-a-thon.”
Those who wish to donate food before the event may do so at the chamber of commerce, 112 W. Main St., Cartersville, and at the WBHF studio, 5 Wall St., Cartersville.