Children can do something about “Nothing”

[ 4 ] September 14, 2011 |

Students make a difference in their own social circles

Even the youngest child can appreciate the importance of good food on the table. The idea of having nothing to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner is almost impossible to imagine. For the 60,000 Rhode Islanders who rely on food supplied by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, however, the reality of nothing on the table is all too real.

That’s the idea behind the Food Bank’s “Nothing” campaign, which offers both real and virtual cans of Nothing for $2.99. Each can you purchase buys 10 pounds of food for Rhode Island’s hungry. More than 30 grocers and retail stores around the state are helping to sell the real-life cans in September. For a complete list of participating stores, visit  Or you can buy a virtual can — with your very own name placed on the can — at The Nothing campaign is supported by the Citizens Bank Foundation and designed pro bono by Nail Communications.

The real-life cans have a coin slot, enabling the purchaser to collect spare change for the Food Bank.  In 2010, when the campaign premiered, the spare change returned in cans exceeded $35,000.  That’s a lot of spare change!

The campaign is a natural for children, because it only takes $2.99 to get started. Here are a few ideas on how kids can lead the way in helping the RI Community Food Bank feed hungry people:

  • Tell your scouting group, soccer club or dance class about “Nothing.” Show them a can, and maybe they’ll contribute, or even buy their own can to help out.
  • Put a can of “Nothing” on your kitchen counter and ask the family to empty their spare change into the can at the end of the day.
  • Planning a yard sale or lemonade stand? Put a can of Nothing out and encourage visitors to contribute.
  • Ask your school leadership to consider having a “Nothing” day at school. If you’re interested in more information, email Cindy Elder at
  • If you’re on Facebook, buy a virtual can at and share it with all your friends.

The RI Community Food Bank is looking for stories on how children used “Nothing” to do something. You can share your ideas with Cindy Elder, Director of Communications, at or 401-942-6325, Ext. 213.


Category: community news, food + recipes, helping others

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

Comments (4)

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  1. Margaret says:

    Terrific, I know my 6 year old would get this.

  2. Anisa Raoof Anisa Raoof says:

    I just heard that LaSalle Academy and South Kingston High are adopting the project. Excellent!

  3. Amy Hood amy says:

    I bought some cans last year. One sat on our table and collected change, and the other went to work with my husband. We left it out during family gatherings, too, and it collected some money that way as well. I’ve shared stories from the Food Bank’s newsletter with my children, so they can hear in clients’ own words what being hungry really means.

  4. Anisa Raoof Anisa Raoof says:

    Thanks Amy for sharing those helpful tips and easy ways to engage kids in the process.

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