In a wonderful display of creativity and community service, SUNY Oneonta students and community members came together to collect and donate 2,947 pounds of food for the 2022 Canstruction event.
After a three-year pause on the event because of COVID-19, contestants gathered at the Southside Mall on Saturday, April 2, to build giant sculptures using stacks of canned food they collected. The cans will be on display until April 10, when they will be sorted and donated to eight local food pantries.
Five structures where built. Three SUNY Oneonta teams participated in the competition, using design and problem-solving skills to create sculptures. The student teams represented the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Inter-Greek Council (IGC) and Sigma Gamma Phi. SAAC built the stadium with fast “O” in the middle, IGC built a piece of pie and Sigma Gamma Phi built two blocks with their letters embedded in them.
Teams in CANstruction events raise money to purchase cans appropriate to the sculpture they plan to construct. Participants must use cans with original labels, and they cannot use glue or anything that will affect the cans during construction. City of Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek selected winners in several categories, including Best Use of Labels, Favorite, Best Meal and Structural Ingenuity. Sigma Gamma Phi’s team won the “Best Meal” award.
CANstruction is a national charity committed to ending hunger one can at a time. Since its inception in 2011, the local event has garnered nearly 48,000 pounds of food. It is organized annually by Linda Drake, executive director for SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community.
“Service is one of the pillars of our campus,” Drake said, “and the students are really invested in giving back."