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To fight hunger, donate 'Just One Can'

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RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom/File

(Read caption) Cans stacked up at a food drive in New York City. Operation Just One Can has a simple theme: Donate a single can of food at a local business, school, or place of worship.

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One night in college, Tony Marren had grabbed a quick meal after leaving a home football game at Brigham Young University in Utah. As he walked with his food, he suddenly came upon adults dumpster-diving with their children nearby.

“I was standing there with my politically correct Diet Coke and my onion rings and my big Whopper,” Marren remembers. “I was stunned.”

He had heard statistics about hunger before then, he says, but that night made the numbers hit home.

Today Mr. Marren, who lives in Provo, Utah, is the founder of Operation Just One Can, a movement that encourages businesses, places of worship, and schools to start food drives in which people donate a single can of food – any brand, any kind of food, any size.

Marren says he thinks being asked to donate a single can makes people more likely to give.

“If you make it a workable, realistic item, you get people to listen,” he says.

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