State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

'Canstruction' Event Under Way to Benefit State College Food Bank

by on April 20, 2017 4:01 PM

Six teams of volunteers were busy designing and building in the middle of the Nittany Mall on Thursday.

Their building materials? Cans of food.

The volunteers are taking part in Canstruction an international food charity competition being sponsored locally by Hoffman Leakey Architects of Boalsburg, the Nittany Mall and Wegmans. All of the full cans of food used in the building of the structures will go to the State College Food Bank.

Participating teams in the event, which is entirely run by volunteers, design and build visually interesting, freestanding structures entirely out of full food cans. They will work on their builds until 8 p.m. on Thursday, and official judging by local community members will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The structures will remain on display until April 30, and awards will be presented at 3 p.m. on April 28. Awards will be given for "Best Use of Labels," "Structural Ingenuity," "Best Meal," "Most Cans," and "Best Original Design." Members of the general public can also vote for their favorites to receive the "People's Choice Award."

Photo: Geoff Rushton/

Hoffman Leakey Architects began planning the event with the State College Food Bank last summer and in July successfully registered State College as a Canstruction site.

The goal of the event is simply to help feed Centre County families and children. Approximately 15 percent of Centre County residents lack consistent access to nutritious food, and that percentage is larger for children under 18. Many facing food insecurity also often live in homes that are not eligible for federal nutrition assistance and turn to the State College Food Bank for help.

The State College Food Bank has been in service since 1982. In 2016 it distributed 406,076 pounds of food, the equivalent of 338,399.

For the Canstruction event, one can structure alone will be the equivalent of 1,666 meals.

Anyone can follow along with the event's progress on the State College Canstruction Facebook page.

Photo: Geoff Rushton/

Photo: Geoff Rushton/

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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