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Businesses build food sculptures to feed the hungry

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They can and they are.

Once again, teams of architects, engineers, contractors and manufacturers joined forces to create structures out of canned food to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania of Allentown.

Members of CANstruction of the Greater Lehigh Valley hosted their third annual event last week and built the displays at Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall Township.

With “Comic-CAN” as this year’s theme, seven completed competition pieces are on display and will remain on the first floor of the mall through Oct. 20.

The nonprofit organization will host an awards banquet Oct. 24 at Second Harvest Food Bank’s facility in East Allen Township.

The competition started when members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) and the AIA (American Institute of Architects) created a local chapter of CANstruction, which is an international organization more than a decade old, said Clint Newton, project manager for Spillman Farmer Architects in Bethlehem.

Newton, coordinator for the local CANstruction chapter, said there is a different theme every year.

“We decided the Lehigh Valley was due for something a little more metropolitan,” Newton said.

Organizers knew a chapter of CANstruction could work well in the Valley, and the local CANstruction event is now in its third year.

The superhero theme really resonated with participants this year and could be used again in the future, he added.

“I’m totally amazed at the level of complexity and artistic nature in which the teams worked together,” Newton said.

This year, the organization gathered 36,000 cans of food that will be donated to Second Harvest. The total does not include pudding containers, which was used by one team to build a gigantic display. The structures are displayed for the public before all the food is donated.

On Monday, judges met and voted among the six displays. The judges are Whitehall Mayor Ed Hozza; John Ferreira, manager of Lehigh Valley Mall; Steve Glickman, architect of Steven Glickman Architect in Easton; and Jessica Dokachev, director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania.

Results will be announced at the awards banquet Oct. 24.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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