Devin McMahon, a member of the Pinkerton Academy Student Council, remembers watching adviser John Breda add up the canned, boxed and bottled goods the Council collected on their Trick or Can drive Friday night. “We were all saying, ‘It looks like we’re going to make 700.’ Then Mr. Breda said, ‘You have 1,384.”
The Council almost doubled its take from last year’s Halloween can drive. Students in costume joined their younger peers in their respective neighborhoods, with the goal of giving rather than getting. The nonperishable food they collected will be delivered to the New Hampshire Food Bank, to help the state’s hungry over the holiday season and into the winter.
McMahon, this year’s Council president, said Trick or Can is in its second year.
“We wanted to involve the entire Council,” Marielle Brunelle, director of the drive, said. “We got all 48 kids together, from every sending town. We asked them to find the Trick or Treat times in their town, and go door-to-door to collect food.”
Last year, the inaugural year, the Council asked for feedback on what to do better. They discovered that while they gained 700 pieces of food, many of their donors were surprised by the effort and not ready with food. So this year, they designed fliers and placed them in the communities of Derry, Chester, Hampstead, Auburn and Hooksett.
“That really helped us,” Brunelle said.
McMahon said, “People would open their doors and say, ‘Are you the Pinkerton people?'”
Brunelle dressed up in her footsie pajamas and a hat. “I was ‘Pajama Girl,'” she said. She collected in her town of Auburn. Historian Ashley Palmer went as a zombie to collect in her Derry neighborhood.
McMahon didn’t dress up. She collected food at the Friday night football game, but other Council members collected in her town of Hampstead, she said.
“The response was way better than we expected,” McMahon said, “and we are so grateful to the surrounding communities.”
“And they still got candy,” Breda said jokingly.