With the help of hundreds of businesses and students from 13 St. Johns County Schools, about 50,000 cans of food were raised during the ‘500,000 Can Challenge,’ which took place from early Nov. 2014 until the end of Feb. 2015.

We asked the community to set up collection boxes at their homes, businesses and organizations to collect very specific canned foods that are being requested by the 150 food pantries and charities served by FNEFL in 17 Northeast Florida counties — items including canned fruits, canned vegetables, pop-top canned meats and peanut butter.

While we didn’t hit our mark for this first-year event, the community helped us raise a tremendous amount of food for distribution to our food pantries — reaching thousands of individuals and families who face hunger every day.  On their behalf, thanks to all the people and businesses in Northeast Florida who participated.

Our mascot, ‘Sam the Can,’ will be back later in 2015 as we build on this annual food drive event.