United We Can Food Drive & Can Sculpture Contest

Join us to kick off United Way of Southern Maine’s 2024 Community Campaign with the United We CAN Food Drive + Sculpture Contest on Friday, September 13 at Thompson’s Point. Help address food insecurity and participate in a fun team-building activity by building an elaborate CAN-struction out of non-perishable food. Community judges will present awards, including Best in Show, at noon. Sculptures will be donated to Wayside Food Programs & Youth Full Maine and distributed throughout York and Cumberland County.

How Can You Participate?

Build a Can Sculpture:

For those looking to have a little extra fun, join us at Thompson’s Point to create a work of canned sculpture art.

Can-Struction: 8 am – 11 am
Award Announcements: 12 pm

Sign Up for Your Team at

Food Donation Drop Off:

Host a collection drive for employees or customers and then deliver it as a team to Thompson’s Point!

Food Donation Drop Off: 8 am – 12 pm

Sign Up Today at

Information for Can-Struction Teams


  1. Build any kind of structure — from the simple to the ornate!
  2. Teams may use props, including signage, and supporting materials when building, but structures must be comprised of at least 50% food items and/or basic needs items. The ground should be more level this year, compared to previous contests, but teams are allowed to bring a flat platform to build on top of.
  3. Sculptures must fit within a 10’x10’ space unless otherwise requested.
  4. Collected items cannot be painted, taped, or otherwise altered in a way that makes them unsuitable for donation. You may cover food items with paper as long as it’s taped to itself and removed by your team after the event.
  5. Teams may construct sculptures between 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. on September 13. You may arrive later in morning, depending on how much time you think you’ll need. You are also allowed to arrive earlier than 8:00, but please reach out to United Way to confirm your plans.
  6. A team from your organization is needed to clean up and load food after the event.
  7. Best practices tip! Track and share the following:
    • # of volunteers
    • # of materials used, e.g. cinder blocks, plywood, tape, etc.
    • # of items collected, e.g. 2,000 cans of tuna, 16 jars of peanut butter
    • Other fun facts.


  1. Register your team using the form above.
  2. Find inspiration by checking out photos of previous years’ structures: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 201820172016
  3. Gather your most creative team and design your entry.
  4. Check out the Most Needed Items list (coming soon) for donations most in-demand by our partners, Wayside Food Programs & Youth Full Maine.
  5. Let your employees know what food items and quantities you will need and do a “trial run.”
  6. Have a blast constructing your sculpture!


We know you’re not doing this for the glory, but this is hard work! We’ll celebrate with a few awards.
Small + Mighty Award: Judges will select the best sculpture CANstructed by a small business (employee size up to 99).
Rookie Award: Judges will select the best sculpture assembled by a new team (1st or 2nd year).
Best Meal Award: Judges will review sculptures for ingredients which would make the best well balanced, healthy meal.
Best in Show: Judges will select the best in show based on the design (originality and creativity), craft (balance, proportions, detail, and use of space), and amount of food collected.
Community Choice Award: The public will cast electronic votes to determine their favorite.

NOTE: Organizations are eligible to win only one award (with the exception of Community Choice Award).

Come See the Sculptures and Join the Fun on Friday, September 13, 2024 at Thompson’s Point!