The Oktoberfest celebration in Hickory, Oct. 11-13, will once again feature the construction of a Castle of Cans to help feed those in need in Catawba County.

The countywide canned food drive provides added supplies to soup kitchens and agencies that help families in need in the area.

For the second year, Food Lion is donating 5,000 pounds of canned goods to the castle through its Food Lion Feeds hunger relief initiative.

“As a proud member of the Hickory community, Food Lion is passionate about ending hunger in the towns and cities we serve,” said Angela Wheeler, regional community relations specialist.

“Through our Food Lion Feeds initiative, Food Lion has committed to donate 1 billion meals by 2025 because we believe that no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gas and groceries. We look forward to continuing to serve the Hickory community for many years to come.”

Castle of Cans coordinator Carleen Crawford said, “We are so appreciative of the boost that Food Lion’s donation gives to the Castle of Cans. For the past 19 years, students of all ages around the county have donated the cans to build the castle. Seeing the generosity of a local grocery chain can only help them with their enthusiasm for the food drives in their schools.”

The Susan L. Coleman Castle of Cans is the charitable community service component of Oktoberfest.

Hickory Downtown Development Association sponsors the event, and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church coordinates the food drive. Most of the cans are collected through drives conducted by students in public and private schools throughout Catawba County, but drives are also held at some churches, businesses and community organizations.

If you would like to donate to the drive, you may bring cans at any participating school or to two community drop-off locations: CertaPro Painters of Hickory/Catawba Valley/High County, 747 Fourth St. SW and Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse on Second Street Northwest in Hickory and 2 Pink Magnolias, 211 N. College Ave. in Newton.

Last year the community collected 20,231 pounds, or 10.2 tons of food, that was distributed to these agencies: 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.

For information about Oktoberfest, call 828-322-1121. For information about the Castle of Cans, call Carleen Crawford at 828-781-0845.

For information about Food Lion, call Benny Smith at 704-608-6737.

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