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Home > Interpreter Magazine > It Worked For Us > ‘Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat’

It Worked for Us!

Children at Highland (Ill.) Hope United Methodist Church collect food outside a local grocery store.

Illinois church sponsors ‘Trick or Treat so Others Can Eat’

By Dan Perry

For the past five years, Highland Hope United Methodist Church in Highland, Ill., ( has organized a Halloween food drive. We call it “Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat.” 

For the first couple of years, children dressed in costume (no evil-type characters) and collected food in the church’s neighborhood on a day close to Halloween. They only asked for nonperishable food, not candy. Junior high students announced the food drive a week in advance by delivering flyers in the neighborhood.   
The neighborhood enjoyed seeing the kids and our food drive helped our area food pantry as well.

Three years ago, we built a new location on the edge of town. We continued to collect food in the church’s neighborhood, but we spent a lot of time walking between the houses because they are spaced far apart.

This year we tried a new approach. Instead of walking around the neighborhood, our children collected food in front of a local grocery store.

We asked the local food pantry to describe their immediate needs. Then the children's leaders put together a list of items. The children dressed in “non-scary” costumes and handed the list to people as they were going in to do their shopping.

In just a few hours, we collected more than 350 pounds of food and non-perishable items.
For more information, contact the Rev. Dan Perry at (618) 654-8434 or

—The Rev. Dan Perry is pastor of Highland Hope United Methodist Church in Highland, Ill.


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