Published: Oct 19, 2013 9:21 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 19, 2013 9:13 PM EDT

Fort Myers, Fla. -- Halloween is less than two weeks away and if you're looking for a good scare while helping a great cause, the 8th Annual Hingson Haunted House of Horrors is the place to be!

Shar Hingson, founder of the haunted house, joined WINK News Weekend Saturday morning to share why she hosts this spook-tacular food drive year after year.

"We started out really small, because it was a way to keep our family together...and it's grown into this giant event," says Hingson.

While the event is FREE, every thrill-seeker visiting the haunted house is asked to bring a can or box of non-perishable food for pets or people. The food will be appropriately distributed to the Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Animal Refuge Center (ARC) located in North Fort Myers.

ARC is a no-kill, non-profit organization that strives to provide shelter and healthcare to all animals in need.  Each year, ARC places about 500 pets with loving families.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank provides food to more than 30,000 Southwest Floridians monthly. In the past fiscal year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed more than 16.6 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $27 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 13.8 million meals to people in need.

Last year, the Hingson Haunted House of Horrors collected 903 pounds of food from approximately 1,000 visitors, and Mrs. Hingson is setting her sights high this year.  "Every year we try to go for triple," she says.

This event wouldn't be possible without hardworking volunteers, like Blanca Hernandez.

"There's been so much need in the community, and I've definitely benefited from that when I needed help. So I jumped at the opportunity to give back to the community," says Hernandez, who is actually a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat!

Mrs. Hingson also sends a big "thank you!" to those restaurants who so graciously donated food to the volunteers while they prepared this year's haunted house.

Because of the graphic nature of the haunted house, parents may want to tour the scare-fest before letting their kids venture through. By the way all volunteers at the haunted house are trained in CPR. Yes, this haunted house is legitimately scary!

The haunted house will be open October 25th, October 26th and October 31st from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is located at Shar and Darrel Hingson's House: 19068 Dogwood Rd. Fort Myers, FL  33967 (San Carlos Park). Don't forget a can of food!

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