'Canstruction' competition helps stock the food bank

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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013 12:00 am

If you've run out of ideas about what to do with a can of tuna or sliced peaches, head to Westroads Mall through Sunday for inspiration.

You won't find any new recipes, but a pretty cool collection of sculptures, including a replica of the Eiffel Tower, a canny Super Mario and a blue-shelled snail, each made from canned and boxed foods.

Canstruction is an annual competition among Omaha's architectural, engineering and construction firms to re-stock the shelves at the Food Bank for the Heartland, which serves the needy in Nebraska and western Iowa.

The structures will be on display at Westroads until Sunday. But you can also view them on Facebook.

Vote for your favorite until 6 p.m. Sunday on Facebook or at the mall's voting stations.

This is no catch-as-catch-can competition. Entrants must follow a strict set of rules that spell out what materials can be employed for structural support and the kind of food that can be used, said Valerie Morris, president of the Nebraska chapter of the Society of Design Administration, which sponsored this year's event along with Schnackel Engineers and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Last year's competition generated over 16,000 pounds of canned and boxed foods, “enough for 13,183 meals,” said Don Wilson, director of business development at Schnackel.

Just don't kick the cans.....

The winning design could advance to the national Canstruction competition. Check out the creations by last year's entrants (how DID they get that pinwheel to not topple?).

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