SUNY Oneonta News

February 18, 2011



ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Several teams of students at SUNY Oneonta will test their design and engineering skills in a “Canstruction” competition on March 5-6 in the Hunt College Union as they build structures out of canned food that will ultimately be donated to the Lord’s Table and the Riverside School.

Four teams of students—representing the college’s student-athletes, Resident Student Organization, Marketing Club, and a sorority and fraternity—will build giant-sized structures made entirely of canned food. The structures will remain on display in the Hunt College Union until March 11, and the canned food will be donated afterwards.

SUNY Oneonta is the first college in New York state to host a Canstruction competition. Last year Canstruction, Inc., the nonprofit organization that originated the design-and-build events, raised over 2 million pounds of food for food banks across the country, providing an estimated 1.5 million meals.

"We are thrilled to host the first of what will become an annual Canstruction event. Students will put their knowledge of artistic design, geometry, and engineering to use for community service," said Linda Drake, who is the director of SUNY Oneonta's Center for Social Responsibility and Community, which is sponsoring the event.

"It will be a lot of fun and we'll be able to make a significant contribution to our local food banks," said Drake. All of the Canstruction cans will be donated to the Lord’s Table and then shared with the local food banks and the food program at Riverside Elementary School, she said.

Members of the community are invited to view the displays or to watch the competition, which will begin on Saturday, March 5, at 9 a.m. and conclude on Sunday, March 6, at 4 p.m.

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. Judges will select winners in the event in four categories: Best Use of Labels, Favorite, Best Meal, and Structural Ingenuity.

More information on Canstruction is available on the organization’s web site at More information about the event is available from Drake at (607) 436-2633 or



For more information about the College, please call the Community Relations Office at (607) 436-2748 or send e-mail to Hal Legg, Director of Communications.

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