Working and building against hunger

Time lapse video credit: Dan Tse

CANstruction Pittsburgh is a unique initiative to combine creativity and altruism in an effort to support a very important cause, hunger relief in Pittsburgh.

Teams of four to eight people were challenged to design a structure made entirely out of cans of food… yes cans! My team, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pittsburgh Younger Members Forum (YMF) and Keystone-Mountain-Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters, replicated King Friday XIII’s castle, the ruler of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

With the generosity of our family, friends, and co-workers, we were able to build a castle over seven feet high! After completing our build one Saturday morning, the structure was on display at The Mall of Robinson for two weeks. The public had the opportunity to view the art structure displays as well as utilize a can of food to vote for their favorite structure. At the end of the two weeks, all structures were disassembled distributed to local food banks.

Fred Rogers once said “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” CANstruction stood by this ideology. This competition engaged the public while raising local hunger awareness and helping those in need. Pittsburgh is our community and we need to ensure that its people are taken care of. With the structures and donations this year, CANstruction Pittsburgh was able to donate over 10,000 cans to local food banks.

Next year, I encourage you to participate in CANstruction Pittsburgh! Whether it be donating, forming a team, or voting, you will be making a difference. How will you help?


Article by Paroma Saha, Project Engineer

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