Creating Art in the Fight Against Hunger
Teaming with the American Institute of Architects and other members of the construction and design industry, this charity drive offers a creative way to give back to the community, in many communities in America and beyond. Teams are responsible for purchasing their own canned food and creating their own structures. All food raised is donated to their local food bank(s).
Canstructures are made entirely from canned foods within a 10’x10’x8’ space. It easily takes several thousand cans, sometimes up to 20,000 cans to create a canstructure.
CANstruction is a nonprofit organization in the United States. This charity combines the competitive spirit of a design contest while meeting the needs to feed the hungry. This collaborative event is held in more than 100 cities across America, as well as in other cities, world-wide. It calls our attention to the pervasive issue of hunger in our communities.
It happens each year at about this time. This year, the designs were built on April 10 for display and public viewing all month, through today, April 29. By individual votes and an anonymous jury, the completed canstructures were judged for Best Design, People’s Choice, and other awards.
In my community, here in the greater area of Cincinnati, Ohio, seven downtown places participated. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was one place. I’m both happy and proud to work alongside great coworkers here at this library, who are passionate in this worthy cause.
What is the impact of CANstruction?
This event raises awareness of the need for hunger relief. Many families and vulnerable individuals struggle when it comes to eating on a regular basis. Children who qualify for and receive reduced or free lunches at school, often go hungry on the weekends. More than 13-million American children live in households with uncertain access to food which supports a healthy life.
After the competition and exhibition, the structures are deconstructed, and all canned food is given to community food banks.
In my community, all cans are donated to the Freestore Foodbank, which operates nationwide and is part of the Feeding America organization. Feeding America is the national association of affiliated food banks. It is the largest hunger relief organization, connecting community local food pantries in every state of America, bridging gaps.
While CANstruction is over for this year, there are other ways to help. Link to Freestore Foodbank and Feeding America for volunteer opportunities.
Videos of Interest:
This first video was published prior to the event. It is narrated, explaining how to participate in the CANstruction. While locality specific, it is informative and brief, at just under 4 minutes.
For a time-lapsed viewing of creating a canstructure, check out this even shorter video:
Did you visit any Canstructures on display this year? How do you feel about the fight against hunger? I’d love to hear your comments. -Elle-