Perham students set donation record with this year's Trick-or-Canning

This year's Trick-or-Canning raised the largest number of donations one group has ever brought into the pantry at a single time, said John Leikness, executive director of The Bridge Community Pantry in Perham.

phs interact
The Perham High School Interact Club smiles together after their Trick or Canning food drive. (Submitted)

"Trick or … Canning?" That phrase is one Perham High School's Interact Club is very familiar with.

This student-led organization — which completes community service — raises food and funds for Perham's Community Bridge Pantry each year through their Trick-or-Canning event.

This year, they completely surpassed expectations.

From Oct. 11–15, students that participated in Trick-or-Canning went door-to-door in Perham neighborhoods to ask for donations. The event was expanded this year to include a food drive at Perham schools.

"We were hoping to get as many donations as we could, and we were amazed by the results," said Anya Roe, a student and Interact leader alongside Audrey Tumberg, Lily Aakre and Sydney Anderson.


By the end of Trick-or-Canning, Interact had collected 967 pounds of food and raised $279 in donations. Heart of the Lakes Elementary donated enough items to fill a whole car. Interact members delivered the donations to The Bridge, setting a new record in the process.

This year's Trick-or-Canning raised the largest number of donations one group has ever brought into the pantry at a single time, said John Leikness, executive director of The Bridge. Leikness said he's always amazed at the number of donations Interact brings in each year.

"I just continue to be impressed with the young people in this community that care about those who have food insecurity," he said. "It's just amazing."

Leikness said a donation of this size helps The Bridge supply a nice variety of products to those in need. He also said that, during this time of year, the pantry starts seeing more traffic, so the increase in donations is appreciated.

"I'm glad we were able to make a difference for this wonderful pillar in our community," said Roe.

With deer hunting season approaching, Leikness mentioned that people may donate venison to Al's Butchers Blend in Perham, at 43920 Thunder Road, for users of The Bridge. Donors fill out a form at the butcher shop and then the venison goes through a quality-checking process before being ground and donated to The Bridge. Al's Butcher Blend can be reached at 218-346-4015.

Monetary donations via check can be mailed to The Bridge Community Pantry at P.O. Box 7, Perham, MN 56573. Donations (of food or dollars) may also be brought to the pantry during its open hours on Tuesday mornings from 8 a.m. – noon. Special arrangements outside of these hours can be made by calling 218-346-6181.

"Any donation of any size is appreciated," Leikness said.

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
What To Read Next
The smart students behind Perham's Knowledge Bowl are making a splash and hope to go to state this year.
The annual Otter Tail Plunge will be back at the Otter Tail Lake public boat landing on Saturday, Feb. 4.
All the latest happenings in and around perham
The Honor Flight will take about 90 veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars to Washington, D. C.