The St. John’s chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (St. John’s PFLAG) is holding it”s third annual Harvest for the Hungry this Halloween. The organization invites anyone who’s interested to join them as they trick-or-treat for non-perishable food items to donate to local food banks.
St. John’s PFLAG hosts a monthly support group for members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as people who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their parents and loved ones. Harvest for the Hungry is one of several annual events the organization hosts to give members of the LGBTQ+ community and the people who support them an opportunity to get together and have fun.
This Halloween they’ll be trick-or-treating through the downtown core in a large group, making sure no one finds themselves alone. While the group’s focus is collecting non-perishable food donations, St. John’s PFLAG Co-Facilitator Charlie Murphy says people usually insist on giving the trick-or-treaters some candy along with their donation. Dressing up is optional, but Murphy personally encourages it.
“I know I’ll be dressed up, Halloween is my favourite time of year, it’s a nice escape for individuals to have fun and not worry about things that might be stressful throughout the rest of the year,” Murphy said.
In past years, Harvest for the Hungry has collected a significant number of donations for Memorial University’s Campus Food Bank, the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre’s, and the Aids Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador’s (ACNL). Murphy believes this year will be equally successful, he says the group hopes to gather lots of healthy items and essentials to help people get through the winter.
“Canned goods are great but we’re especially looking for things like pasta, spaghetti sauce, beans, rice, any non-perishable food items that aren’t junk food, things that will provide nourishment,” Murphy said.
Anyone who isn’t able to join PFLAG for trick-or-treating will have an opportunity to get in the spirit of the season with them a little earlier in the month.
St. John’s PFLAG is partnering with MUN Saga, Parents of Trans and Gender Creative Kids, and ACNL Youth Council to host another Halloween event at MUN on Saturday October 28th from 2:00-5:00pm. They’ll be screening Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin and Halloween Town, decorating cookies and playing games.
“PFLAG is trying to make more community connections so we can build more annual events the community can invest itself in and come together and grow,” Murphy said. “This Halloween event will be very relaxed and fun…people can just enjoy being in a community setting and not having to worry about safety or being picked on or feeling isolated.”
PFLAG will also be accepting early Harvest for the Hungry donations at the Halloween get together at MUN. Anyone who’d like to organize a Harvest for the Hungry event outside of the greater St. John’s area can get in touch with Murphy by calling St. John’s PFLAG at 1(709) 351 2282.