‘Canstruction’ artists build food pyramid to topple hunger

Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2008


  The Nelsons, Gwen, Nancy, Otto and Robert with their Food Pyramid Canstruction entry at the KVCC.

The Nelsons, Gwen, Nancy, Otto and Robert with their Food Pyramid Canstruction entry at the KVCC.

The 2008 Canstruction event at the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center enters its final week of Can-Do-creativity that CAN fight hunger in the local area. Through Saturday, March 8th, sculptures made out of nonperishable food items are eligible for several awards such as the CAN-Do-Award or Ton-O-Tin-Award. All of the food collected will be distributed to needy Kenai Peninsula residents. “We are counting on the AlasCAN Spirit, that CAN-do attitude to make a difference by counting CANs to help us fight hunger on the Peninsula,” says Kenai Peninsula Food Bank executive director Linda Swarner, “Through Saturday we are looking for teams to build sculptures from canned and packaged food for the 10th annual CANstruction event. CANstruction is a fun filled food drive designed to collect food for the hungry.”

The Nelson family of St. Georges home school have entered an educational Food Pyramid in this year’s Canstruction contest which is a model of the Egyptian Pyramids as well as a model of our food pyramid and the proportional amounts of each group we should eat daily, “The bottom of the food pyramid is bottled water because that is the most basic part of our diet, followed by grains and beans, then we have the fruits and vegetables and above those the meats and dairy products and at the very top are the items we should eat the least of the sugars and oils. It was a simply design but a lot of fun for the kids and a very educational experience for us to put together. All the food items were donated by Fred Myers for the Food Bank,” Sheryl Nelson told the Dispatch. Creating the Food Pyramid were 13-year-old Gwen Nelson, her 11-year-old sister Nancy, 7-year-old brother Otto, and 5-year-old brother Robert Nelson.

According to the Food Bank, here’s how the Canstruction competition works, community organizations, businesses, schools and youth groups organize teams to build a Canstruction sculpture. Teams turn ordinary nonperishable food items into unique sculptures of art and display them for judging and public viewing through March 8th at the Kenai Visitors & Convention Bureau. Sculptures vary from serious to whimsical and may employ props to enhance the effect. Each team may either buy or obtain donations for the food necessary to build the sculpture. Awards are to include the Can-Do-Award, which is the entry with the highest number of cans and packages used, the Best AlasCAN Theme award judged on creativity, the Ton-O-Tin award for the entry with the greatest total weight, and Peoples Choice award for the most popular. There is also a Kids-Can-Too award for the youth category and the Judges Choice award for the most creative.

All Canstruction food is donated to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank after the event and distributed to needy Peninsula residents. Winners will be announced Saturday, March 8th at the KVCC in Kenai. For more information or entry forms call the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank at 262-3111.

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