CAN-tree 2023

Slide 1
1 in 4 people in Ventura County
are Food Insecure

What is CAN-tree?

Celebrate the Season of Giving at CAN-tree Food Drive!
Join us at Downtown Ventura’s Figueroa Plaza for the 12th Annual CAN-tree Food Drive. Witness a dazzling display of over 300 Christmas trees, each uniquely designed with canned food by more than 100 participating groups. This event is more than just a spectacle; it’s a powerful expression of community spirit and generosity.

Get Involved and Make a Difference!
You can participate by sponsoring a tree through a monetary donation or by hosting your own food drive to create a canned food tree. Every contribution helps combat food insecurity in our community. Be a part of this meaningful holiday tradition and help us build a forest of hope and nourishment.Join the CAN-tree Food Drive – where your holiday spirit creates lasting impact!

We are a member of the Feeding America network, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

Food Insecure Served Annually

Agency Partners & Pantries

Meals Provided with $10

Timeline of Events

Thursday, November 30th

Large tree building

Friday, December 1st

10 AM – 12 PM: Cumulus will be broadcasting LIVE from the event

10 AM – 4 PM: Tree building
6 PM: Tree Lighting event at Figueroa Plaza

Saturday, December 2nd

8 AM – 2 PM: Tree building
8:30AM – 12PM: Farmers Market
12 PM – 8PM: Holiday Street Fair on Main St.
4 PM – 8 PM: Winter Wine Walk

Sunday, December 3rd

Any decorations you wish to keep MUST be removed from your tree by 9am. Trees will then be broken down and cans collected to feed our community. Thank you!

Rules, Tips & Important Info

Collect & Build

If you collected your own food, remember it takes about 600 cans to make the tree. However, we recommend you collect between 600-800 cans because the stability of the tree works best if the cans are relatively the same size. 

If you used Food Share barrels/containers to collect your cans and are returning that container when you arrive, please make sure to turn it into the Volunteer Tent and that we record that you turned it in. If you have extra cans that you can’t work into your tree, we’ll take them! Please place them in the collection bin near the check-in table.

Buy & Build

If Food Share purchased your cans for you, please park and then proceed to the Check-in table to receive your Build Packet. You will then be brought to your area where the cans will be waiting for you! Please do NOT mix in donated cans with our purchased cans. All donated food can be dropped at check-in.

Can Wrapping

Many of you have asked about wrapping the cans. You are more than welcome to do so. Please take the taping restrictions above into account when doing so. You will need 268 labels to wrap the outer layers of the tree.

Here is a CAN wrap template. 

Decorating Your Tree

You may decorate the rest of your tree how you’d like. Get as creative as possible. There are lots of awards for the best trees!

There are also a few big “NO’s” when it comes to decorations. 

  • Please DO NOT use any of the following: toilet paper, fake snow, silly string, electric lights (no electricity of any kind will be available, battery operated OK), confetti, straw/hay, fake grass, or glass ornaments. 
  • Please DO NOT tape, stick or glue anything to the can label itself. 
  • Please DO NOT remove the can labels or alter the food in any way. If you need to use tape, make sure the decoration is taped to itself and NOT on the can. Any damage to the label of the can has the potential of us not being able to distribute it. 

Finally, if you need your decorations back, it is YOUR responsibility to return to Figueroa Plaza before 9AM on Sunday, December 4th to collect them. Otherwise, they will be discarded or donated. 

Although we have overnight security at the event site, please keep in mind that we are NOT responsible for any theft, damage, or loss of decorations throughout the weekend.

Ornament Tag & Tree Topper

An ornament tag will be provided to you upon check-in. We can provide the tree topper for you OR you can bring your own. Upon completion of your tree, please go to the Volunteer Tent to receive your topper if you would like to use ours.

Check-In & Unloading

Please find the Food Share Check-In Tent at the beginning of your assigned build time (near the flag poles). At check-in, your tree building instructions & ornament tag will be provided to you. 

See the map for the unloading zone on Santa Clara St. in front of A Bar Called Country. If you are bringing your own cans, please try to carpool. This will help the unloading process and overall traffic in that area. Volunteers will be standing by to unload your car into shopping carts. DO NOT check-in while you are in the unloading zone. Once your car is unloaded, please park, and then come back and check-in. You will then be helped to your spot to start building. After you’re done, please be sure to get a team tree photo!

Social Media

Share the love! Please start spreading the word of your involvement in the 11th Annual CAN-tree Drive using #CANtree2023 in any of your social media posts. 

Facebook: @FoodShareofVenturaCounty 

Instagram: @FoodShareVC

How to Build a CAN-tree

Unloading and Parking Info

Unloading Zone: On Santa Clara St. between A Bar Called Country and Blue Agave Restaurant (look for cones and volunteers). This is to UNLOAD ONLY. 

We will have volunteers to help you unload your car. You will then need to park in one of the designated parking areas indicated on the parking map. We are not responsible for any parking tickets incurred during this event.

Parking: Downtown Ventura is going to be a very busy destination this weekend, so we ask for your patience and appreciate your support. 

The map above marks all the places where there is FREE parking. The closest parking lots are located at The Museum of Ventura County, the lot adjacent to A Bar Called Country, and the lot on the corner of Santa Clara and Palm. The top level of the parking structure is FREE all day. Please try to carpool if possible!

CAN-tree 2023 Awards

Top CAN-Crusher

Most trees built

Ambassador of the CAN

Company or individual with the biggest shared support of the CAN-tree event

Community Treasure

Chosen by Food Share staff for the best tree from the Collect & Build trees

Best Theme

Group of two or more trees with a common theme

Best Décor

Best overall tree decoration

Mayor’s Choice

City of Ventura Mayor’s choice

CEO’s Choice

Food Share CEO Monica White’s choice

Board Chair's Choice

Board Chair, Drew West’s choice

Supervisor's Choice

County Board of Supervisor’s choice

People’s Choice

Tree with the most “likes” on social media