Imagine a ten-foot tall pig sculpted entirely from hundreds of cans of pork-and-beans, or a giant green Gumby made of cans of spinach. Those are examples of what you might see at this weekend’s tenth annual “Can-struction” competition in Des Moines. Sue Wallace, a co-organizer, says the event puts a spotlight on hunger while putting some of central Iowa’s most creative minds to work. Wallace says there will be 14 teams of engineers, architects and students building some elaborate structures and sculptures. She says the can-structures are giant, colorful creations built entirely from canned goods. The themes in years past have included Wrigley Field, a huge windmill and even a goggle-eyed Cat in the Hat. Wallace says “Child’s Play,” a huge playground, was built one year and a kid snuck under the ropes and tried to swing on the swing — which was made of licorice, so that didn’t work very well. She says Can-struction combines the competitive spirit of a design-and-build contest with a unique way to help feed hungry people across the region. All of the food is donated to the Food Bank of Iowa which Wallace says covers 240 soup kitchens, food pantries and other hunger relief agencies across Iowa. The Can-struction event last year collected more than 34,000 pounds of food for the food bank. The building is underway at Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines today (Saturday) while the structures will be left up through February 10th.
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