CAN-struction Fights Hunger in Alaska

The CANstruction competition requires teams to build self-supporting structures made entirely of canned food and benefits the Food Bank of Alaska.

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by Stevie French

ANCHORAGE - The University Center Mall is undergoing renovations of a different kind. Friday (3/22) 11 teams were competing in CANstruction, one of the largest food drives in the world.

The competition requires teams to build self-supporting structures made entirely of canned food and benefits the Food Bank of Alaska.

"People want to help," said Val Clark, Annual Giving Manager at Food Bank of Alaska. "A lot of times they ask what can we do? Is there some way we can also contribute what we do for a living, or the expertise that we have."

The majority of teams competing are professional engineering firms in Anchorage.

"It's a fun competition for engineering firms," said Nick Fama, engineer and team leader with Dowl HKM. "All the people we're competing against we compete against professionally so it's fun to compete in a not so professional environment."

Some of the competition awards include 'Best Use of Labels', 'Most Cans Used' and 'Most Nutritious Meal' - something the team from Dimond High Engineering Academy has well within their sights.

"The outside [of the structure] might be the same cans over and over again,"said Brendon LaPorte from Dimond High Engineering Academy. "But inside it's gonna be a little bit more of a variety so that they get a better meal because that's what it’s all about in the end".

Last year the Food Bank of Alaska distributed more than 6.5 million pounds of food to more than 300 partner agencies in Alaska.

The CANstructures will be on show every day until April 4 at the University Center Mall in Anchorage. Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable foods for donation to the Food Bank of Alaska.

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