Student groups take ‘can do’ attitude to help fight hunger

Aaron Kaufman

Members of the Freshman Advisory Council relax after completing their squirrel out of cans and macaroni and cheese boxes that they will donate to United Way. The group raised more than $100 at a tailgate event to buy the food. David Ranucci | Daily Kent S

Credit: DKS Editors

This model of the library, housed in the library lobby, is made out of cans to be donated to Kent Social Services. It is made of 400 cans and was built in two hours by about ten people. David Ranucci | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Skyscrapers made of cans dominated the Risman Plaza landscape Tuesday as Kent State organizations built canned-food structures as part of a United Way event to fight hunger.

Six teams participated in the event and built structures using food cans and other non-perishable food products. All of the food and money raised for the event was donated to the Kent Department of Social Services, and will be distributed to impoverished people in the Kent community.

“I thought it was a very worthwhile way to try to raise funds,” said President Lester Lefton, as he perused the city of canned structures. “It’s very cool.”

Groups built structures that varied from the Catholic Student Association’s “can bible” to the Recreation and Student Services model city of Kent.

The University Library staff constructed a 12-story model of their building, with each of the nearly 400 cans they collected wrapped with a photo of a brick or window from the actual building. The project took about two hours to complete and many trial runs to perfect. The library also raised $300 that it will donate to the United Way.

“No matter what happens, I feel like we’re a winner today,” exclaimed Carolyn Radcliff, reference and instruction librarian. “This is going to be a great donation to the Kent Social Services.”

The other groups that participated in the event were the Freshman Advisory Council, Kent State Student Athletes and Kent Student Ambassadors.

The Freshman Advisory Council raised $107.68 at a tailgate fundraising effort at Saturday’s football game. They used $107.30 of it to buy macaroni and cheese and canned corn to build a black squirrel


“I think it’s a really cool idea, and a way to get cans in a fun way,” Sarah Czaplicki, junior early childhood education major, said. “Normally its just ‘let’s see who can get the most,’ this time it’s ‘let’s see what we can build with them.'”

Each participant received awards for his or her can structure, including Best Use of Labels, Structural Integrity, Best Meal and Honorable Mention. The Department of Recreation Services won the coveted “Best in Show” award.

The event was inspired by a national CANstruction competition held every year by the United Way. The event involves a number of architecture firms that build canned food buildings in an effort to raise awareness for the United Way food drive. The idea was brought to Kent State as a way to raise awareness for those who need food donations in the city of Kent.

Representatives from the United Way were happy with the success of the event. They hope this event will prove to be a strong start on their way to raising $25,000 at Kent State by Nov. 15.

“I think it’s very feasible,” said Megan Odell-Scott, Americorp-Vista Community Service Leader and event organizer.

Contact Library and Information Services reporter Aaron Kaufman at [email protected].