CANstruction 2013 made a record-shattering leap for CANkind in the fight against hunger in Bartholomew County.
A total of 28,789 cans were donated at this year’s event Feb. 16-24 at FairOaks Mall in Columbus, said Joyce Lucke, CANstruction organizer with Paragon Meeting and Events. The total is up more than 8,000 from last year’s record 20,630 cans.
An estimated 2,300 cans donated this year were from public voting, meaning people came to the mall and dropped off the cans.
Monetary donations this year shattered last year’s $48 total by more than $3,300, Lucke said. Much of the money resulted from online voting, she added.
Nine structures, each containing an average of 3,000 to 4,000 cans, stood in FairOaks Mall.
Passers-by could vote for their favorite structure by either leaving a canned food item in the bin beside the structure or offering a monetary donation by voting online.
All money and canned good were divided proportionally among Love Chapel, the Salvation Army and Hope Food Bank, based on the number of people each serves per month, Lucke said.
“All three (food) banks had to make multiple trips and call in reinforcements to get all the cans out of FairOaks Mall Sunday night,” she said.
“Both the Salvation Army and Hope Food Bank received the most cans ever in the five years we’ve been doing this,” Lucke added. “The need is definitely still there. We were thrilled we could give them the most cans ever.”
The variety of canned foods offered this year will be a tremendous help, said Elizabeth Kestler, executive director of Love Chapel.
“It will keep us from having to purchase those items that aren’t donated regularly or that we have a bigger need for, like pork and beans,” she said.
The CANstruction donations received by the Salvation Army this year are enough to sustain the organization for about six months, Lt. Alan Sladek said.
The Salvation Army currently serves about 850 people per month, he said, and that number continues to grow.
“We’ve been so blessed this year,” Sladek said.
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