Canstruction Combines Ingenuity, Charity

Four teams of students from SUNY Oneonta and the community will test their engineering skills in a “Canstruction” competition on April 6-7 at the Southside Mall as they build structures out of canned food that will ultimately be donated to the local food pantries. Teams from the Milford Community Action Group and the Grand Gorge BOCES will join two teams of SUNY Oneonta students—representing the college’s student-athletes and residents of Ford and Hays halls—to build giant-sized structures made entirely of canned food. The structures will remain on display at the mall until April 11, and the canned food will then be donated to the 13 food pantries in Otsego County. Two years ago, SUNY Oneonta was the first college in New York state to host a Canstruction competition, and last year, two teams from the community joined in the fun and the event moved from the college campus to the Southside Mall. Teams in Canstruction events raise money to purchase cans appropriate to the sculpture that they plan to construct. Participants must use cans with their original labels, and they cannot use glue or anything that will affect the cans during construction. Members of the community are invited to view the displays and watch the competition, which will begin Saturday morning and conclude Sunday afternoon. At 5 p.m. Sunday, judges will select winners in five categories: Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Juror’s Favorite and Peoples’ Choice. This year’s judges will be “Big Chuck” D’Imperio, local radio personality and newspaper columnist; Jim Kevlin, editor and publisher of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta; and Sam Pollak, editor of The Daily Star. More information on Canstruction is available on the organization’s website at More information about the event is available from Linda Drake, director of SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community, at (607) 436-2633 or

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