WKU ALIVE Center food drive part of Greek Week Philanthropy Day
20,000. That is just under the number of people that can fit in Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium, and it is also the number of canned food items expected Saturday (April 23) for the sixth annual CANstruct® for a Cause event at WKU.
This year’s CANstruct® for a Cause event will take place on the third level of the stadium before the Red vs. White spring football game, and participants believe the outcome will feed more than 2,000 people through the benefiting food pantries HOTEL INC, Salvation Army, WKU Food Pantry, Hope House and the Barren River Area Safe Space.
WKU’s CANstruct® for a Cause challenges organizations to think critically about local, national and global hunger issues. Groups spend weeks collecting food items for local pantries, then they build structures using the cans at the CANstruct® for a Cause event. Participants also discuss hunger issues and engage in awareness activities in addition to the building structures.
The WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships started the event in 2010 after a student wanted to find a unique way to encourage food donations and address some of the area food needs. WKU’s CANstruct® for a Cause is part of the national Canstruction® organization of events, and it is licensed under an agreement between Canstruction® and the WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships to host the event.
Since 2010, every year except 2012, the WKU ALIVE Center has organized the event to benefit food pantries. Now, with the partnership with WKU’s fraternities and sororities, the food drive is one of the largest in the region for some pantries.
“Having a food drive like CANstruct® for a Cause matters to fraternity and sorority organizations at WKU because it allows us to come together as a Greek community to create a positive change for the people of Bowling Green,” said Megan Holl, a senior from Belleville, Illinois, and Greek Week Philanthropy Co-Chair. “We have the opportunity to showcase our hard work and dedication to a cause greater than ourselves.”
For the third straight year, CANstruct® for a Cause is the Greek Week Philanthropy Day event, which is a day set aside for service to the community. Eighteen fraternities and sororities have registered to participate this year, noting expected donations surpassing 20,000. In addition, the American Institute of Architecture Students at WKU are expected to exhibit a structure for all to view.
“The Greek organizations at WKU have been working diligently to collect cans over the past few months, and we would like the community’s support in this endeavor,” Holl said. “We will be providing food pantries around Bowling Green with thousands of cans, with the hopes of making a lasting impact on the people of this community.”
Each year, CANstruct® for a Cause has donated food to Bowling Green/Warren County food pantries, and HOTEL INC has been a consistent partner in the event and received donations.
“The efforts of WKU students to help supply area food pantries with a large donation at this time of year is always timely in the need we have at HOTEL INC as we prepare for more families through the summer months, said Rhondell Miller, HOTEL INC Executive Director. “With 1 in 4 children and 1 in 5 adult Warren County residents facing hunger on a daily basis it is imperative we work together to help our neighbor in need – Canstruction® does this!”
HOTEL INC serves an average of 350-375 households per month in the food pantry. They average distributing 7,200 canned food items per month. Each food pantry benefiting from CANstruct® for a Cause will have different distribution methods. According to Miller, if 20,000 items are donated, calculating an average household of three people receiving 30 items that would provide 667 families (2,001 people) with food for one week.
The building of structures will conclude for CANstruct® for a Cause at 12:30 p.m. Saturday (April 23) just before kickoff of the Red vs. White game. Attendees are encouraged to visit the third floor of Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium to view the structures beginning at 12:30 p.m. and vote for the People’s Choice Awards.
CANstruct® for a Cause is made possible through the support of countless volunteers, partnering offices and organizations, and businesses. The event has a long-standing partnership with Rent a Center that donates staff time for employees to transport food to the pantries. For information about CANstruct® for a Cause, contact the ALIVE Center at (270) 782-0082.
Contact: Aurelia Spaulding, (270) 782-0082