SPRING HILL — A new local company is staging some Halloween frights to fight a real life scare: hunger.
Go Green Electronic Recycling Inc. has a haunted house in its 8,900-square-foot warehouse at 11075 Hearth Road. The public is invited to attend this weekend for the price of a donated can of food — several cans or bulk-size cans are welcome — or a dead electronic device.
The canned goods will be given to Love Your Neighbor, which serves free dinners every Sunday in Brooksville. "They are running out of food and money," said Go Green's board chairman Mike Barbee.
"We, as a new company in Hernando County, have chosen to attempt to collect more food in 48 hours than any other food drive has ever done in this county before," Barbee said. He's envisioning pallet loads.
Barbee, a past president of Habitat for Humanity of Hernando County, remains plugged into the county's social service network. He cited several statistics:
• 25 percent of the county's 173,000 residents get food stamps.
• This year in Hernando County, about 7,000 electric customers had power disconnected and not reinstalled.
• While unnumbered homeless, including whole families, are living in area woods, a small tent camp has taken shape recently behind a supermarket in Brooksville, near the store's garbage bins. Law enforcement is aware of the encampment and is willing to turn a blind eye so long as it remains peaceful.
As for dead electronics, Go Green's job is to keep them out of landfills. Donations of cell phones, computer towers and monitors, cords, keyboards, mouses, fax machines, copiers and transformers will also be accepted as the price of admission to the haunted house. The company's business is to erase all codes and discs and refurbish the electronics to working order.
Cell phones are being sold on a contract with Nigeria. Computers and their accouterments are being revived for lease at a minimal fee to low-income families locally.
A percentage of sales and leases will be donated to Love Your Neighbor and other food charities, Barbee said.
Having purchased Go Green from its four-year establishment in Buffalo, N.Y., Barbee brought the firm to Spring Hill. Over the past two months, it has reconditioned its warehouse to accommodate the business and hired six employees. The haunted house and food drive represent its grand opening, a more significant contribution to the community than a ribbon-cutting, Barbee said.
Beth Gray can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.