BINGHAMTON, NY – The first week in May, students from area middle and high schools joined BLI Alumni Association’s Kids CAN Build competition to both raise awareness of hunger and provide food and monetary donations to Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW).

Formerly known as Canstruction of the Southern Tier, the event allows for students to create elaborate structures made entirely of canned food with the help of local engineering and architecture mentors. The structures are then judged and awarded titles such as “Best Meal,” “Best Use of Labels,” etc.

Kids CAN Build Chair Jamie Jacobs says, “This initiative has always been centered around raising awareness about food insecurity and supporting local charities that feed the hungry, this year, as we renamed our effort and shifted from teams of adult professionals at the Oakdale Mall to all student groups in their schools, it has a new exciting element of STEM education as well.” 

The Best Meal Award was presented to Union Endicott, the Structural Integrity Award went to BOCES Tech Academy 10, the Best Use of Labels Award went to Owego Apalachin, and the Overall Best Design Award went to Johnson City.

All food cans will be delivered to CHOW for distribution to local food pantries, soup kitchens and other community meal programs.

Between the value of canned food plus monetary donations raised by generous sponsors, the event was able to present CHOW with $30,650.