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Canstruction Orlando celebrates 25 years in fight against hunger

Exhibit on display at Orlando Science Center

ORLANDO, Fla. – There's a different type of exhibit that's turning heads at the Orlando Science Center. From now until Oct. 28, visitors will get to enjoy unique art sculptures, all made out of canned foods.

For 25 years, more than half a million cans, boxes and bags of food have been collected in Central Florida through an unusual type of food drive -- Canstruction Orlando. It's a competition wherein architects, engineers and designers come together to build large and very eccentric structures.

This year, visitors will enjoy iconic movie characters, a bounce house and even a pinata all made out of canned food exhibited at the Orlando Science Center.

"Science is in everything, so it is nice for us to do something that's helping the community, that has artistic value, but we can also tie the science into it because there's a science in how all these got put together," Jeff Stanford, VP of marketing for the Orlando Science Center, said.

"Our design this year is a quarter, which we call In Cans We Trust, it's to represent the quarter century that Canstruction has been around in Orlando, to help raise awareness," Dianne Panton, an architect with HHCP, said.

So how was George Washington's face built?

"We actually went through modeling, so we used digital technology to create the design, and then we went out and shopped for the appropriate cans to come up with the design," John Page, of Hoar Constructions, said.

Eleven teams participated at this year's event, and they'll be judged by people from the community who decide the winning structures in five different categories.

"They're looked at in terms of creativity, I think nutritional value of the food collected. Artistic representation, I mean, there's a number of categories for which these are judged," Stanford said.

Canstruction is an international competition founded in 1992 with the sole purpose of collecting food to provide to local food banks.

A year later, it was introduced in Orlando in a unique event where participants become part of the solution in the fight against hunger.

"It's nice to have people remind them like, hey, let's get out and do something for our community--contribute and create awareness," Panton said.

Orlando is among the more than 170 participating cities in the United States. Once the exhibit ends on Oct. 28, the exhibits are taken down and the canned food is donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.


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