Hands-On-A-House contest officials packed cars and trailers with canned food Thursday, Sept. 13, as they picked up donations from each Brownwood Elementary School.

The Hands-On-A-House competition starts Sept. 14, and lasts three days. With 25 contestants competing to win a Hunter’s Cabin, the competitors are also challenged in a food drive where the winner will receive an extra break during the contest. The schools began participating last year, helping to kick off the food drive, as a way to better involve the community and awareness of the hunger problem in this area.

Many of the schools held class competitions for the most donated cans. “The winning class gets to have a pizza party,” said East Elementary principal, Nanda Wilbourn. “They will also have their picture taken and help load the food.” The winning classes from each school will be also recognized in the news and on Saturday afternoon during the Hands-On-A-House competition at the Brownwood Reunion Celebration.

East Elementary estimates a total of around 1,411 cans of food were donated from their campus. Woodland Heights Elementary reported around 1,052 cans, and numbers were not immediately available for Northwest Elementary or Coggin, though the final official counts and winners will be announced Saturday.

According to the contest flyer, all food collected will be divided equally between Saint John's Episcopal Church's Food Pantry and Good Samaritan Ministries, and the donated canned and boxed goods will be displayed at the Hands-On-A-House Competition during Brownwood Reunion.