The UTM Rotaract Club’s members and friends visited different residential areas around campus last Thursday, but instead of collecting candy, chocolate, and other treats, they collected non-perishable food items as part of their annual trick-or-treating Halloween Harvest, held in collaboration with Mississauga Rotaract.
Dressed up in different costumes, participants went out in groups of three or four with an assigned driver, at either 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., based on their availability as indicated during a pre-registration process. Each group had one hour to go trick-or-treating for non-perishable goods, and bring them back to the Student Centre. Participants were encouraged to use eco-friendly or recyclable bags to collect the canned goods.
“Our main goal for Halloween Harvest was to collect as many non-perishable food items as possible. We want to spread awareness about people in our own communities [who] go hungry and put action towards it,” said Agita Wijaya, a fourth-year international affairs specialist student and the co-president of the UTM Rotaract Club. “Halloween Harvest is a unique volunteering experience that combines a Halloween tradition and mixes it with community service. Volunteers have fun and help the community at the same time. Halloween Harvest kicks off the year as our first big event, where students learn about other ways to get involved with the club.”
Last year, the event attracted 30 to 40 participants, who collected over 250 non-perishable food items in two hours, weighing 580 pounds. This year, over 300 non-perishable food items were collected in two hours by 50 participants.
All items were donated to the Knight’s Table Soup Kitchen in Brampton, which is a close partner of Mississauga Rotaract.
After the trick-or-treating, participants enjoyed a social, complete with prizes for the scariest and most creative costumes.
UTM Rotaract is a volunteer service club for young adults aged 18–30. Their slogan is “Service Above Self”.