Annual Can Castle Contest helps local kids with food insecurity

Tierra McCall

Staff Writer 

The offices of Civic Engagement and Student Involvement recently partnered to hold the annual Can Castle Contest. 

The food drive, held at Tailgate Terrace, collected more than 7,000 supplemental food items for the Backpacks for Kids program – a partnership between Civic Engagement and Freshman Forum. 

Student volunteers pack bags weekly during fall and spring semesters and deliver them biweekly to kids in the Pike County area. 

Student groups, organizations and athletic teams were encouraged to participate in the Can Castle Contest this year by donating nonperishable food items. 

The participants in this year’s contest were Habitat for Humanity, Baptist Campus Ministries, Christian Student Center, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Chi, Farmhouse, Phi Mu, Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, Sigma Chi and Delta Kappa Epsilon. 

The groups came together to construct their best “castles” using their donations. 

“This fun and engaging activity provides an opportunity for students to be educated on the issue of food insecurity in Pike County and actively participate in addressing this need,” said Samantha Collins, a sophomore business major from Birmingham, Alabama. 

Collins serves as the head of the Campus Kitchens, part of the Office of Civic Engagement. 

The castles were reviewed by a panel of judges and recognition was given to the groups who had the best castle and donated the most items. 

Sororities and fraternities could also receive Greek Week points for winning the contest. 

The group recognized for the best can castle from a Greek organization was Phi Mu, the group recognized for the best can castle from a student organization was Baptist Campus Ministries, and the group that collected the most cans was Kappa Delta. 

For more information on the Office of Civic Engagement and its outreach programs, visit the organization’s page at

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