Contest aims to reduce hunger in Pike County

Posted: Friday, 28 February 2014

TROY - Troy University students will have an opportunity to put their building skills to the test in the annual Can Castle Contest, designed to gather donations for Troy-area food pantries.

The contest, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 on the Barnes & Noble patio on the Troy Campus, is sponsored by the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement's Civic Scholars.

Student teams involved in the event will bring their group's collected canned goods and build the castles, which will be judged on soundness of structure, creativity, use of materials, theme and overall appearance. Winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m. Awards will be given for the best castle and most cans collected. Winning teams will receive a TROY t-shirts and plaque. Greek organizations are eligible for Greek Week points.

This year, a new program is being introduced by Freshman Forum called Backpacks for Kids. This program gathers non-perishable, kid friendly food containing three of the four essential food groups to distribute to kids.

The students are hoping to collect at least 5,000 canned food items to deliver to the following local food banks: The Salvation Army, Freshman Forum's Backpacks for Kids Program, Head Start, St. Mark Episcopal Church Food Pantry, and Salem-Troy Baptist Association Food Bank, said Jonathan Cellon, coordinator of service learning.

"Alabama is the nation's seventh poorest state, and the nation's second hungriest state. In Pike County, 26 percent of families - and 34 percent of children - live below the poverty line," Cellon said.

For more information, contact Cellon, at 334-808-6349 via email to