TONAWANDA, N.Y. - A Western New York company took the Food 2 Families food drive to the next level. 2 On Your Side is a proud sponsor of the drive that benefits the Food Bank of Western New York.
Praxair, an industrial gases company in Tonawanda, invited their employees to compete in a "can-creation" to see who could build the best design out of cans of food.
Four teams from different departments brought in 3,500 cans, plus cash that has not been tabulated. Then, they spent a couple of weeks creating the masterpieces.
"There's no hollow parts in any part of the design," Douglas Stire, part of the National Logistics Team for Praxair, said of his team's Etch A Sketch design. "It's all corn in the center that's stacked on it's side. And we used the reflective silver part as our screen on the Etch a Sketch."
There were four designs in total, voted on by a panel of judges. The four include the Etch A Sketch, that took first place, a Rubik's Cube, a light tower and a "One Buffalo" inspired design.
The competition might have pushed this food drive forward but it is the impact it will have on the community that really brought the drive home.
"It has a direct tangible impact," Terry Bourgeois, the Praxair Site Director, said. "It kind of gives immediate gratification knowing that the product of these efforts here are going to work very soon and to families in Western New York."
The designs will come down in the next day and every can will make its way to the Food Bank of Western New York to then be distributed out to the community.
"[The donations mean] helping put food on the table for families in need," Paula Mercurio, the Chief Financial Officer for the Food Bank of Western New York said of Praxair's donations. "It means helping out a child that doesn't have to go to bed hungry."
Food 2 Families food drive is Friday at multiple Tops locations. Last year, the drive helped provide more than a million meals to local families.
The Praxair Site Manager said he would like to see the competition they hosted internally expand to a competition between companies across Western New York.