A Hannibal boy who has spearheaded efforts to collect thousands of canned food items as a Christmastime project is at it again.

A Hannibal boy who has spearheaded efforts to collect thousands of canned food items as a Christmastime project is at it again.

Robert’s Canned Food Drive began in earnest on Nov. 5. Robert Wealer hopes to collect 6,500 canned goods to donate to the Salvation Army by Christmas Eve.

Last year, he collected and donated 5,500 canned goods to the Salvation Army. This year, he’s also using a PayPal account to collect monetary donations to go towards his goal of 6,500 food items.

Robert has had plenty of support from family and friends, as well as the community. He’s shuttled around Hannibal to pick up donations with the help of his parents.

This year his father Matthew Wealer is away from home on deployment, but will be home in time to help drop off the donations to the Salvation Army. Even his school, Mark Twain Elementary, got in on the drive last year, hosting a school-wide food collection initiative.

The Salvation Army, which was the recipient of last year’s donations, thanked Robert personally with a certificate at its January 2016 meeting.

In an interview following the conclusion of the 2016 drive, Robert said, “I know it will affect people’s lives by helping them feed their families.”

To follow updates of Robert’s progress and to contact him about donating, follow Robert’s Canned Food Drive on Facebook.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .