LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) - Volunteers are coming together on Halloween to help those in need.
The 15th annual "Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat" event was held Monday evening in Holmen.
Each year, church youth groups, high school students and other kids collect bags of food that are left outside on the week of Halloween. The food is taken to Holmen Lutheran Church, where it will be distributed on Tuesday.
Last year, nearly 10,000 items were collected, going to more than 160 families in the area.
Organizers say it's a rewarding experience for the kids who might sacrifice some candy collecting to help others.
"You know, when the kids bring the food here and they see that this little thing they just did is part of this giant thing, it's kind of a cool thing for the kids to see," said neighborhood coordinator Sandy Powell.
Meanwhile in La Crosse, students and staff from Central High School went door-to-door today for their second annual "Trick or Can" campaign.
More than 120 kids went out in search of canned goods instead of candy, which will then be donated to the Hunger Task Force through the iFeed program.
Central High School teacher John Havlicek says many teenagers want to do something to help the community, and organized efforts like this help show them the impact of helping others.
"Ideally this becomes a lifelong thing for these kids," said Havlicek. "Whatever causes they choose to support, whatever things that they really believe in and want to get behind, we're showing them that this is possible, that one person can in fact make a difference."
This year's goal for the "Trick or Can" campaign was to collect 3000 pounds of food. Some of the donations to the Hunger Task Force will make their way back to Central's new food pantry, "La Cocina," to help classmates in need.
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