CANstruction is a United States 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing CANned food to local food banks in cities holding CANstruction competitions. CANstruction is an international charity competition where architects, engineers, contractors and students they mentor, compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full CANs of food. At the close of the competition all of the food is donated to local food banks where the competitions are held. CANstruction was founded in 1992 by Cheri Melillo and has since raised millions of pounds of food for food banks in participating cities across the world. With more than 150 cities and over 30,000 volunteers participating in CANstruction competitions, CANstruction has grown to become one of the largest food drives for food bank donations in the world.
The Anchorage Chapter
As in many parts of the world, hunger is very prevalent in Alaska. Nearly 103,000 Alaskans struggle with hunger (about 1 in 7). This includes approximately 30,000 children who are food insecure. As home to about 40% of the population, Anchorage plays a key role in address the hunger needs of the state.
In 2007 Krista Phillips and Cynthia Oistad co-chaired Anchorage’s first CANstruction event. For years leading up to 2007 Krista and Cynthia’s architectural office hosted an employee food drive as part of a local food drive. They had seen photos of some amazing CANstructures in other states and thought CANstruction would be a fun and creative way for Alaska’s A/E/C firms to publicly showcase their design skills while also supporting the Food Bank of Alaska. Krista and Cynthia worked closely with CANstruction "national" to get support materials on how to host CANstruction in Anchorage. Next, they set up a small steering committee to help plan the event and get the word out. Several Food Bank of Alaska employees helped with the event and participated on the committee. The steering committee personally reached out to friends and colleagues of other Anchorage based AEC firms to get support/participation for the event. The event was initially timed in February to align with the Anchorage Fur Rendevous (Fur Rondy). Anchorage’s CANstruction build-out and display period has changed slightly over the years, but typically always in the February/March timeframe. Which is one of the seasons when the Food Bank of Alaska has the greatest need for food.
Since 2008 we have held an event annually to support the Food Bank of Alaska and have donated over 375,000 pounds.
We love that you CAN have fun while supporting a great cause!