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Not your typical food drive: "Can-struction" competition benefits local youth

canstrcution competiton
Posted at 11:22 AM, Apr 27, 2024

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Friday, the Arizona Association of Community Managers hosted a food drive to benefit low-income and homeless youth, but this wasn’t your typical food drive.

The organization hosted a “Can-struction” competition where teams assembled creative and interactive displays using canned food items.

Fourth grade students from Imago Dei Middle School in Tucson attended the event.

The school’s Enrichment Coordinator, Frank DiPietrapaul, said, “There’s a dual purpose to us being here - being more involved in the community and getting to network and meet people and getting to experience how a food drive and art all come together.”

All of the cans are being donated to Pappas Kids Schoolhouse Foundation. The foundation’s Executive Director, Dayna Sandoval, said the Arizona-based foundation provides educational assistance to youth. These specific items will go to families of students from Imago Dei.

“Those kids, their families are homeless, underprivileged, severely below the poverty level and are also refugee youth,” Sandoval said. “So these are families that come here with absolutely nothing and this all goes to support them and make sure that they have the nutrition at home to get them through the school day.”

While the competition was only about an hour long, Deborah Rudd who is the Executive Director of Arizona Association of Community Management said months of prepping and planning go into the displays.

“You’ll see us sometimes in the grocery store laying out the cans so you can count what cans you need or how many,” Rudd said.

The teams built an ice cream cone, the University of Arizona logo, a living room set up, lizard and a Mario Kart race track.

At the end of the event the students voted to decide on the winner. The ice cream cone came out on top.

Madison Thomas joined KGUN 9 in July of 2023 as a multimedia journalist. She graduated from Arizona State University in May of 2023 with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She has lived in Arizona her entire life and grew up in Douglas. Madison is thrilled to share the stories from the community she grew up in. Share your story ideas and important issues with Madison by emailing or by connecting on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.