The Broome Leadership Institute (BLI) Alumni Association Board will host Canstruction® of the Southern Tier, presented by Visions Federal Credit Union. Ten teams will compete to build giant structures made entirely out of canned food. Structures will be displayed at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City from March 23-30, 2014 to increase hunger awareness in our community.

Proceeds from Canstruction® of the Southern Tier will help support hunger relief activities in Broome County. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier and CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse of the Broome County Council of Churches, work in partnership to end hunger in our community. The canned food used in each structure will be distributed through CHOW to emergency food programs throughout Broome County including food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community meal programs. The funds raised will support both agencies’ hunger-relief efforts including the Food Bank’s BackPack Program™. The BackPack Program™ distributes food to children at risk of hunger over weekend and holiday breaks when school is not in session. Children in need receive a bag of nutritious, easy to prepare food each Friday during the school year.

Community members are invited to watch as the structures are constructed at the Oakdale Mall on Sunday, March 23rd between the hours of 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. There is also an opportunity to vote for your favorite structure!

The ten teams participating in this year’s event include BCK-IBI Group, Broome-Tioga BOCES – CTE Leadership/SkillsUSA, Broome-Tioga BOCES – New Visions Engineering Academy, Delta Engineers, Architects, and Land Surveyors, IBM, Keystone Associates Architects, Engineers & Surveyors, LLC, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, United Health Services and Visions Federal Credit Union. This year’s generous event sponsors include Visions Federal Credit Union as the presenting sponsor, Lockheed Martin and Wegmans at the Gold Level, and United Health Services at the Silver Level.

To learn more about how you can make a difference in the fight against hunger, visit or

Canstruction® is a global, not-for-profit anti-hunger project founded by the Society for Design Administrations, an affiliate of the American Institute of Architects. With the help of design professionals, groups of participants compete to build giant structures made entirely of canned food. The creative canned food structures are reviewed by a panel of local judges. Winners are submitted for the chance to compete on a national level.

Established in 1976, CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse of the Broome County Council of Churches, feeds the hungry of Broome County through its network of over 30 food pantries and 35 soup kitchens and community meal programs. The program distributes about 1.5 million pounds of food each year. CHOW partners with over 30 Broome County church congregations, 20 food retailers and wholesalers, and hundreds of volunteers to assist the hungry in our local communities.

Established in 1981 and headquartered in Elmira, NY, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes food and other grocery products to people in need through a network of more than 160 member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other hunger relief organizations in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins Counties. The Food Bank also administers several direct service food distribution programs including the BackPack Program™ and Mobile Food Pantry. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and a regional agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester. The Food Bank helps fulfill Catholic Charities’ commitment to create a just and com-passionate society rooted in the dignity of all people by working together to build and sustain hunger free communities throughout the Southern Tier.