Another Successful year of CANstruction Food Drive

On Sunday, March 6, Bal Vihar teens along with teens from other faiths created a unique mural of canned goods that will be on display at the Saint Louis Science Center through Sunday, March 27. These teens, representing four faiths (Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Christian), have taken their inspiration from Jerusalem, a giant screen film currently showing at the Saint Louis Science Center’s OMNIMAX® Theater. The structure, requiring 1700 cans, is a bridge with supports representing the four faith groups being connected by concepts of interfaith cooperation to represent the theme of  “Bridging the Gap though Conversation”. 

For the third year,  The Center for Indian Cultural Education – Bal Vihar of St. Louis and Interfaith Quest have organized this collaborative project in partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center. One reason we create projects like this at Bal Vihar is to teach our youth the value of community service and to create a sense of oneness within our community.  We especially love projects that we can share with our interfaith friends because when our kids have the chance to share their culture, they develop confidence in their own faith.

Click the following link to see the Press Release of Science Cener regarding this: Science Center Press Release

Some of the quotes from the kids that participated in the drive:
Bal Vihar Teen - "Before tonight, I didn't think I could really talk about my faith, but I realized that I knew more than I thought I did and could really explain it.

YES Teen - " I thought this was going to be boring, but it was really fun!!" 

Seventh-Day Adventist Teen - "I'm usually shy and don't talk in public, but it was so fun to share with everyone" 

Other Teens - " I have a different perspective of the Science Center now, I really like that they were willing to do this for us so people can see that this much diversity can get along." 

" I didn't know they did things besides science, like they really want to do things in the community, too."

Quotes from Operation Food Search that received the donations from this drive: Thanks so very much for your CANstruction food drive collection of 1941 pounds of much needed, nutritious donations, and a check for $703.43. We value these donations at $3983.72, and they represent enough to feed 2594 people for one day. 

Did you know that nearly 1 in 4 kids here in the St. Louis bi-state area faces hunger every day?  Did you know that hunger exists in every zip code in our region?  That hunger is skyrocketing in middle and upper middle class suburbs of our area? We cannot compartmentalize hunger only affecting “those” people in “those” zip codes – it lives in our own subdivisions, in each of our own communities here in the bi-state area. Hunger affects far more families than only those mired in poverty. Families above the federal poverty level whose breadwinners are unemployed or even more so underemployed are finding it difficult to consistently put food on the table, too. The fact that hunger is so silent yet so pervasive makes it hard to understand.

Your donations will be used not only by our food pantries and soup kitchens, but also by after school meal programs, transitional housing meal programs, our Cooking Matters classes and demonstrations, and school food closet programs. 

All of you at Balvihar of St. Louis are helping us in our fight against the hunger among us.  We are nothing without each and every one of you. OFS is fully supported by our St. Louis bi-state region:
we receive no United Way funding, no tax dollars, no government commodities.

Thank you so very much for your consistent, compassionate support. You’re everything to us, and even more so to those who rely upon OFS for sustenance.

Click the following link to view photos from the event CANstruction Food Drive 2016 Photos