Annual Canstruction event starts MondayIt aims to raise awareness through sculptures of food.
Reprinted from the Palm Beach Post.
Beating hunger in Palm Beach County is something Palm Beach County Food Bank CEO Karen Erren knows can happen.
And, with the help of seven local businesses and nearly 15 tons of canned goods, the food bank will get a jump on fighting hunger when this year’s Canstruction event kicks off Monday at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.
This is the fifth year the food bank has hosted Canstruction, an event in which teams create elaborate sculptures out of canned goods. Past sculptures have included jets soaring over an American flag and life-sized tractors created from cans of black olives, complete with smokestacks.
The main design rule this year is each sculpture must contain the number “5” somewhere within it; a nod to the fifth year of Canstruction, as well as the fifth year the food bank has been in existence. On top of that, the food bank distributes more than 5 million pounds of food annually through 175 community partners.
“It’s hard to believe, but there are still folks who are unaware of the prevalence of hunger in Palm Beach County,” said Erren. “There are more than 200,000 of our neighbors who don’t know where they are going to get their next meal.”
And each of the sculptures has a different meaning to the creators.
“We selected the ‘Bear Trap’ statue for this Canstruction to correlate the challenges our community faces every day off the course to end hunger in Palm Beach County,” said Kenneth Kennerly, executive director of The Honda Classic. “This build is a tribute to the mission and determination of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, and we hope this Canstruction encourages our friends and supporters of The Honda Classic, Hedrick Brothers Construction, and Peacock and Lewis Architects and Planners, to face this challenge head-on, and persevere for the more than 200,000 residents who are food insecure.”
Erren also noted that more than two-thirds of the children in the Palm Beach County School District qualify for free or reduced lunch; yet another indication of the need for additional food resources. To speak to that need, the food bank has partnered with 32 organizations that run summer camps and will be sending enough food for the weekend home with more than 3,000 children each week this summer.
“While efficient transportation and a solid infrastructure are key to a thriving community, it is equally essential to ensure local families and their growing children have access to healthy, nutritious meals throughout the year,” said aid Meredith Cruz, outreach manager for The Corradino Group.
“In our industry, no challenge can be completed without proper teamwork and partnering, and we are proud to work alongside the Palm Beach County Food Bank and Canstruction to shine a light on the hunger epidemic that persists in our area."
By partnering with – and placing their sculptures right in the middle of The Gardens Mall, Erren hopes to draw attention to the hunger problem in the most conspicuous way. Involving seven high profile businesses, such as Florida Power & Light and Pratt & Whitney, increases the importance of the event And the problem it addresses, she said.
“As the largest construction company in Palm Beach County, the KAST Team realizes how fortunate we are. Helping to raise the awareness of the hunger issue in our county is a responsibility we all take seriously,” said Dave DeMay, vice president of KAST Construction. “Participating in Canstruction not only spreads the word throughout KAST, it also exposes the thousands of employees of our subcontractors that have donated funds to the Canstruction effort. We are excited about building our structure at the fifth anniversary of Canstruction.”
In addition to the amazing sculptures that arise from the minds of teams like KAST Construction and GliddenSpina, The Corradino Group/Ranger Construction; The Honda Classic/Peacock+Lewis/Hedrick Brothers Construction; Leo A Daly/The Weitz Company; and the Palm Beach State College architecture department, there is the benefit of where all that food goes– straight to the food bank.
Each can of food used in the sculptures and displayed in the mall from Monday through June 17 is donated to help feed families. Last year’s Canstruction event collected 28,583 pounds of food. “One of the things I love about this event is they are just so cool,” Erren said. “There are some really talented people in Palm Beach County when it comes to sculptures with cans. I also appreciate the broad range of community support that we enjoy with this event. Tens of thousands of people will travel to the mall and see these sculptures. This really is the community coming together and neighbors helping their neighbors.”
What: A Palm Beach County Food Bank event in which local teams use canned food to create intricate sculptures for display in The Gardens Mall. All canned goods are donated to the Palm Beach County Food Bank.
Where: The Gardens Mall, 3101PGABlvd., Palm Beach Gardens.
When: The sculptures will be on display from Monday through June 17 during mall hours. There will be a cocktail and awards party on June 8 from 6 to 8p.m. Tickets to that party are $50 each or $25 for young professionals.
Participating teams: The Corradino Group/ Ranger Construction; Florida Power & Light; The Honda Classic/Peacock+Lewis/Hedrick Brothers Construction; Kast Construction/GliddenSpina+ Partners; Leo A Daly/The Weitz Company; Palm Beach State College architecture department; and Pratt & Whitney.
For more information: Go to www.pbcfoodbank.org/cans2017 or call 561- 670-2518, ext.314.