Hickory – In its 23rd year, the 2021 Susan L. Coleman Castle of Cans has set a new record of donations with its virtual fundraising campaign, with $15,001, slightly exceeding the $15,000 goal. These funds will provide 105,000 pounds, or 52 tons of food to meet the hunger needs of our community.

Castle of Cans chairperson Carleen Crawford expressed her sincere appreciation to everyone who donated, promoted, and has helped in any way to help make the campaign so overwhelmingly successful, while appealing to those who have not yet contributed. “We are so delighted that the Food Lion Feeds donating pushed us over our goal, she said. “We had strong teams this year although still fewer due to the impact of COVID-19. Many public and private schools, churches, and community organizations all did an outstanding job for us to help us reach our goal and we will be recognizing their efforts in the future.”

A very special thank you to Food Lion. Through its Food Lion Feeds Program they donated $3000, which will purchase approximately 21,000 pounds and equals 10.5 tons of food. This is the sixth year that Food Lion has supported the drive with a large donation, and we could not be more grateful for their generosity and support. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has donated more than 500 million meals to individuals and families since 2014 and has committed to donating 1 billion more meals by 2025. For more information, visit www.foodlion.com.

We also truly appreciate our 2021 team members and their generous contributions. In the competition, the Hickory Christian Academy team again took the lead donating the most at $2740, equaling 19,180 pounds of food! St. Albans Episcopal Church was close behind, donating $2000 equaling 14,000 pounds. Startown Elementary was next, taking the lead in the elementary division donating $1158 equaling 8,106 pounds with Viewmont Elementary School very close behind, donating $1105.75 equaling 7740 pounds. Hickory Day School donated $1035 equaling 7,245 pounds, Maiden Middle School led the middle school division donating $802.50 equaling 5618 pounds, Bandys FFA donated $755 equaling 5285 pounds, Clyde Campbell donated $560 equaling 3920 pounds, Emily Rhoades donated $250 equaling 1750 pounds, Catawba County Truth and Reconciliation donated $150 equaling 1050 pounds and River Bend Middle donated $20 equaling 140 pounds. We are also grateful for the many donations from individuals in our community and those in person at the Hickory Farmers Market. Please visit our campaign page to see all donor recognitions: https://bit.ly/309r5K0

Eight local agencies that feed our neighbors are the campaign recipients: The Corner Table of Newton, Eastern Catawba County Cooperative Christian Ministries, Exodus Homes, The Family Care Center, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministries, The Hickory Soup Kitchen, The Salvation Army, and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Castle of Cans is the community service component of Hickory’s Oktoberfest. The annual food drive is sponsored by the Hickory Downtown Development Association and coordinated by St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

Photo: Food Lion Feeds donation check from Food Lion store #504 in Mountain View. From left to right: Tammy Panther, Hickory’s Oktoberfest committee chairperson and Hickory Downtown Development Association board president, Carleen Crawford, the Castle of Cans chairperson, Tyler Wood, the Food Lion assistant store manager.