Yesterday an article on the website The Atlantic Cities pronounced the Durham metropolitan area as leading the nation with the largest percentage of “creative class” citizenry. Those creative types employ innovative thinking and endeavor to involve the community in finding solutions for problems. Last October, MHAWorks harnessed the energy within the Durham community to address the issue of hunger through the first Creative Food Drive.
During last year’s event, sixteen teams raised non-perishable food donations that served more than 8,000 meals via the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. This year, up to twenty teams can “show off their cans” at the Rigsbee North block-party event scheduled for September 22nd, 3 – 7 pm (though music performances will continue through the night). The food donations for the 2012 event will benefit both the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC and Housing for New Hope.
“HNH’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness by providing increased access to healthcare, integrated services, and housing. Donated food will be used to stock the pantries of formerly homeless families moving into apartments throughout the Durham/Orange community and at Housing for New Hope’s owned and operated sites.”
So what’s “creative” about a food drive? Participating teams compete to build a structure or sculpture or work of canned art within the designated 90 minute time frame, utilizing donated or purchased food items the team has gathered in the preceding months. At the end of the construction period, winners will be selected and presented with these dazzling trophies by WUNC’s Frank Stasio, the event emcee.
But the event isn’t limited to just competing teams – the general public is invited too, and it’s all free, both to compete and to attend (though food donations from the public are encouraged). As an added incentive to attend (if needed), festival goers can enjoy live music from bands, tasty eats from local food trucks and brewery beverages. Plus, there will be a fun kid’s zone, so bring the entire family for a Saturday afternoon filled with fun times.
Presently, there is room for a few more teams to join. Companies, organizations, community members and schools are welcome to participate and those interested parties can find more information here. Becoming a competing team allows for direct engagement with the community, the opportunity to enhance team building skills, and it seems like just a heck of a lot of fun. Competition may be stiff this year with returning winners competing (Semprius won last year’s best overall award and they’re baa-aack!) as well as an enthusiastic new team from Research Triangle Park HQ. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone’s thinking of forming a team of food truck fans to create a food truck made from cans?
If this community charity event feels right up your group’s creative alley, don’t delay! Contact MHAWorks to enter before the August 1st deadline.