Convention Center launches trick or treat event to help local food bank

The Palm Beach County Convention Center will host its first annual “Trick or Treat so Palm Beach County Can Eat” event this Halloween to help secure donations for the Palm Beach County Food Bank.

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Halloween, people can drive up to the Palm Beach County Convention Center’s main entrance off Okeechobee Boulevard, drop-off donated canned food items and trick or treat for goodies.

A national study shows that one in six Americans   or 16 percent   struggles to put food on the table, the lowest rate since 2008, according to the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit that recently published a study on hunger in the United States.

A national study shows that one in six Americans or 16 percent struggles to put food on the table, the lowest rate since 2008, according to the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit that recently published a study on hunger in the United States.

Those who wear Halloween costumes will be entered in the center’s costume contest. Prizes include a $100 Visa card and a movie basket with two movie passes donated by Muvico Parisian 20 & IMAX CityPlace, candy and popcorn.

Winners will be announced on Nov. 1 on the center’s social media channels.

“We want to make it simple for the community to donate,” said Dave Anderson, the convention center’s general manager. “The event will start from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. when parents pick-up their kids from school and daycare. We want to make it a fun and safe way to trick or treat for a good cause.”

Roughly 64,000 children in the county are at risk of going to sleep hungry, the convention center said.

More than 200,000 county residents struggle with hunger, according to the food bank’s website.

Some of the most needed food items include: canned stew, chili, soups, fruit, vegetables, meats (tuna, salmon and chicken), meals such as ravioli and Spaghetti O’s & tomato products, pasta, rice, cereal, mac & cheese, peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, jelly in plastic containers and juice.

“One in 6 individuals in our community do not know where their next meal will come from,” Anderson said. “The staff at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, Tourist Development Council agencies and local hotel partners want to challenge everyone to help feed these children and families.”

Leading up to the event, people can drop-off donations at the following agencies and hotels: Discover The Palm Beaches, Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Sports Commission, Film & Television Commission, Hilton West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Marriott.

For more information about the food drive, visit the “Trick or Treat so Palm Beach County Can Eat” Facebook event, or www.pbconventioncenter.com.