Tin For The Bin (stock photo)

If you're planning to watch Friday's parade in Steinbach, don't forget to bring a non-perishable food item. That's the message from South East Helping Hands as they gear up for their annual Tin For The Bin, held together with Farm Credit Canada. Spokesperson Hank Klassen says FCC will bring a tractor and trailer, while South East Helping Hands will supply the shopping carts. Volunteers will then follow the parade route, collecting food items from spectators.

Klassen says their shelves are getting quite empty and so they have a long wish list this year. It includes ketchup, canned vegetables, pasta, cereal, peanut butter, sugar, flour and Kraft Dinner. "I never thought that we'd run out of Kraft Dinner," says Klassen. "And we actually did." Klassen says their food bank is very busy in late spring but then tapers off in early summer.

As for how much they'd like to collect Friday, "whatever we bring is more than we had before," says Klassen. "I'm hoping it will be good. It will have to carry us over till October, till the Drive Away Hunger, when the Church youth goes around together with Farm Credit, and we're going to canvas the whole southeast."

Wade Nerbas with Farm Credit Canada says helping out with Tin For The Bin is a great kick-off to what they're planning for fall. "It's a good lead-in to try and connect the tractor and the trailer and the reason we're trying to collect the food to South East and show that we're in partnership with them all the way." FCC has been holding its Drive Away Hunger campaign since 2004. "Last year was kind of our pinnacle year where we reached 1.8 million across Canada in pounds of food. And we just try to continue to grow that, and our goal is to actually wipe out hunger in Canada." FCC joined South East Helping Hands for Tin For The Bin last year for the first time and Nerbas says "we were just amazed by the support."