Penn State Food Services supports food banks through creative competitions

Vegetables in Cans
Credit: Boarding1Now

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Housing and Food Services contributed to the efforts of Penn State student organizations that held events recently to support local food banks while raising awareness about food insecurity.

The Housing and Food Services purchasing office helped coordinate the purchase of almost 3,700 pounds of food for two events — Canstruction U and Un-Canny — helping the student organizations cut their costs.

On March 27 and 28, four organizations — Project Cahir, Penn State Global Brigades, The Lion’s Pantry, and the Student Farm Club — competed to construct artistic displays as part of The Lion’s Pantry’s Canstruction U event. Teams created structures entirely from canned goods that were donated to The Lion’s Pantry after the competition.

The winning entry for Canstruction U, which was held at the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park, was Penn State’s Missing Slice, created by Project Cahir.

Winning entries were determined by vote, and visitors were asked to bring a canned food item to cast their ballots.

Penn State Brandywine, in partnership with Media Food Bank, held an Un-Canny competition on March 18 at the Student Union Building. Seven student teams were challenged to design and build a structure centered on a sustainability theme, such as “green” industries and the importance of access to clean water. At the suggestion of Media Food Bank, instead of using cans, construction teams created their structures with much-needed items that rarely get donated, such as ketchup, mustard, pasta and cereal.

Un-Canny entries were judged in several categories. The award-winning teams were Castle on the Hill (Structural Ingenuity), Let Them Bee (Jurors’ Favorite), Money on My Mind (Best Use of Labels), MarComm City (Library Literacy), Spills That Kill (Sustainability), and Money on My Mind (People’s Choice).