Canning for a cause

From left to right, front to back cans were filling up the informational lounge in the Castleton Campus Center on October 23.
Castleton students were showing their support for the community by participating in an international food drive competition, “Canstruction.” Students gathered in the Campus Center and methodically built sculptures out of canned goods, with guidance from Nimtz Berryhill Figeiel architects.
“Canstruction is a fun and creative way to meet the food supply needs, especially with the holidays coming up people may be struggling to find food,” said Melinda Mills, a professor of Women and gender studies.
Mill’s Community and American Society class was a driving force behind the event.
“Castleton students were split into teams and encouraged to think of designs that are fun and entertaining,” Mills said.
Not only was it a fun project, students said it was meaningful too.
“This is a great way to help the community, and make a good name for Castleton students,” said sophomore Amanda Harte, who was observing the designs in the Campus Center.
The food was provided by donations from the Vermont Country Store, Healthy Living and purchased through an approved account made by Castleton State College. Just shy of 700 cans, or 600 pounds of food will be shared among area food outlets including Castleton Cares, Fair Haven Concerned, Salvation Army Rutland, Wilton Food Bank and Poultney Food Shelf.
As you entered the lounge, there was a sculpture of a flower immediately to your left. As you kept walking you would see a sand castle. Then there was the pink ribbon to show support for breast cancer and an orange ribbon for hunger awareness. The designs were in the Campus Center from Oct. 24-26.
Though many students liked that “Canstruction” helps those in need, there were critics.
“I saw a flyer for this event, and thought there would be some large scale sculptures made out of cans, which there was some good size sculptures I was just expecting a little more. Regardless it all goes to a good cause,” said Eric Barker-Rowe, an alumnus of Castleton who had stopped by Castleton for the day and was watching the sculptures.
William Schneider, a “Canstruction” participant says “Castleton State College students recognize that hunger is a serious threat and has devastating effects on individuals and families.
Canstuction allowed us to contribute to ending hunger while having fun. This altruistic work was needed and appreciated by our community. It’s a great feeling to be a part of something bigger than yourself, I would defiantly participate again next year.”
Mills said she is happy with the effort.
“I am pleased that, at our college, we encourage everyone to participate in efforts and events that benefit the local community. Even though “Canstruction” is technically a competition, I always feel like everyone wins when we can strengthen our communities in small, but significant ways. The bigger challenge ahead of us is finding long term solutions to these social problems,” she said.

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