By: Kayla Bremer

The Unitarian Church youth group is putting a twist on the traditional Easter egg hunt.  Instead of finding candy to eat for themselves, kids collected food to help those in need.

Canned foods and other non-perishable items overflow from bins at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln Sunday morning.

It's all part of their annual food hunt that takes place every Easter.

Instead of the usual Easter egg hunt, kids from preschool to 5th grade searched for food hidden across the church grounds to donate to a local food pantry.

"It's part of our value system just that we want to be helping out people as much as we can and so it's a little bit different than what's usual but it's making a difference and the kids have fun," Youth Director Chelsea Maitland said.

It's the third year of the food hunt.  Cans and boxes were donated by church members and people in surrounding neighborhoods all to be donated to the Eastridge Food Pantry.

Dozens of kids searched high and low for hidden cans, filling their arms with as much food as they could hold.

Maitland says the kids find just as much enjoyment in searching for the food as they do for Easter eggs.

"Just a little bit of a spin that we're having them look for real food and they do understand that it's then going to be helping people in need," Maitland said.

Middle and high school students in the church's Youth In Action group put together the event.  They say they know it's important to volunteer in the community throughout the year and the food hunt on Easter is another fun way to help out. 

"I have always really, really liked it because everyone can have an Easter egg hunt but not everyone has a canned food hunt and it's better to help people on Easter instead of you know, you can always eat candy but this is something different and I like that," Meredith Enersen said.