Handmade Toucan sitting atop a Two Can Tuesday collection bin

Two Can Tuesday

A project you can start in your neighborhood to collect food for those who need it.

We are thrilled to announce that TCT
has received a grant to expand the project
from the City of Portland, Office of Community & Civic Life.
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A Food Collection Success Story

It began with a mission: Find an easy way for people to donate food, and for others to collect and deliver it to a local food pantry. It has become one of our most successful projects ever!

The concept is simple. Choose a day of the week and ask your neighbors to leave a food donation near their mailbox or at the foot of their driveway. Volunteers from your neighborhood collect the donations and deliver them to a food pantry. We started this in the Bridlemile, Ash Creek and Garden Home neighborhoods on trash pick-up day, which happened to be on Tuesday. The results have been astounding!

We also got a few local businesses involved, increasing the reach of our program. This way, anyone can donate to the Two Can Tuesday project—knowing TCT volunteers will pick up the donations and deliver them to Neighborhood House Food PantryThose generous SW Portland sites, available for donation drop-off during business hours every day of the week, include:

Basics Market in Hillsdale

Driftwood Coffee on SW Vermont

It's easy to start a Two Can Tuesday collection in your neighborhood. Scroll down for more information on how to launch it. Two Can Tuesday is a great way to help the community right where you live, and it's amazing how fast your collections add up!

Three homemade toucans on top of Two Can Tuesday collection bins
Number of pounds of food that we've collected

More Than Just Cans

Two Can Tuesday can collect more than just canned food. Here are common items people add to their collection bins:

  • Nuts

  • Dried fruit

  • Gluten free/vegan non-perishables

  • Non-Peanut nut butters

  • Whole grains

  • Toilet paper

  • Dental supplies

  • Travel size soaps and hygiene products

  • School supplies

A Two Can Tuesday collection bin

Ready to Get Started?

Here are the easy-to-follow steps to launch a Two Can Tuesday project in your own neighborhood.​

  1. Choose the food pantry to benefit from your collection. Make sure to ask them days and hours when they accept donation, and what items they need the most.

  2. Choose your pick-up day. We recommend Tuesday because it matches the name of the event. Plus, it lets you use the mascot that's come to represent this fun project: the Toucan! 

  3. Assemble your team. Sign up your volunteers and create a pick-up calendar so folks know when it's their turn to collect the donations. Have a kick-off event in your neighborhood park to launch the event. It's a great way to find more volunteers and meet your neighbors!

  4. Sign a waiver. It's important for your volunteers to sign a waiver. Click here for a copy of the waiver we use.

  5. Set up a tracking system. We suggest a shared Google sheet that captures your pick-up schedule, the pick-up areas you'll cover and the number of pounds you've collected. 

  6. Call your garbage/recycling company. If your pick-up day is also trash collection day, you should contact your local garbage company and let them know people will be leaving bins, boxes or bags of food at the curb so it's not mistakenly thrown out. Your local garbage company may want to co-sponsor your collection!

  7. Advertise! Make up a flyer and drop it in mailboxes to promote your new program. You may also want to contact your neighborhood newspaper, homeowners association newsletter and post on NextDoor. We recommend that you tell your neighbors to put their donation in a weatherproof, critter-proof container.

The key ingredient to success . . . is you!