Can drive supports locals during holidays

Chelsea Ewaldt

This year marks the 31st anniversary of the TV6 Can-a-thon. The Can-a-thon helps feed people of Marquette County and across the entire Upper Peninsula. Members of the community collect non-perishable food items and donate it local food pantries.cans 2

It was originally founded in 1982 when there were layoffs at the mines and the local food pantries were taxed for food. Throughout the years more than 3 million pounds of food have been donated to help feed the hungry.

“A lot of people don’t have a problem putting food on the table but the ones that do really feel it around the holidays,” said Seth Kratz, a NMU Volunteer Center coordinator. “The Can-a-thon brought in 1,830 pounds alone from NMU last year and was able to help those in need have a better meal and one less thing to worry about.”

The Can-a-thon kicked off on Monday, Nov. 11 and continues until Dec. 5.

Since it began, the goal of the Can-a-thon has been to help feed a hungry neighbor.

The unique aspect of this event is that the food collected stays within the community.

“The Volunteer Center is in charge of collecting cans from all over campus,” Kratz said. “We are, however, a very small portion of the TV6 Can-a-thon. There are other groups on campus and in the community that collect food for this great cause.”

Scott Zerbel, Director of Creative Services for TV6, coordinates the Can-a-thon yearly. He is also an alumni and previously taught art and design for 20 years at NMU.

There isn’t a goal amount of the food collected throughout the Can-a-thon; the primary focus is the act of simply helping someone.

“We never really make a goal of any sorts since the event began,” Zerbel said. “It has consistently grown, but no matter what the total is it goes to a good cause and is greatly appreciated. There is success simply by the amount of giving.”

Students interested in donating non perishable items can visit drop boxes at the University Center, Learning Resource Center, Service Building, CatTrax or at the Volunteer Center in the Student Enrichment Office, Room 1205 of the University Center.

For more information on TV6 Can-a-thon events call Zerbel at (906) 475-4161 or email [email protected] For additional information can be found by calling the Volunteer Center at (906) 227-2466 or by emailing them at [email protected]