Guest Blogger: Tyler Hopf

by Mary Martialay on March 13, 2012

A structure created with cans for the 2011 CANstruction

(A group of Rensselaer architecture students are putting their education to work in the annual CANstruction competition to benefit local food pantries. Fourth-year architecture student Tyler Hopf wrote this post explaining the students’ goal and asking for your support. The above image shows one of the entries from last year’s event.)

Each year, CANstruction—a non-profit organization committed to ending hunger—organizes regional competitions in which local residents build and exhibit structures built entirely of cans of food. The structures raise awareness (and food) for food pantries. Following the exhibition, the structures are disassembled, and the cans are donated to local food pantries.

Last year, I participated in the first CANstruction in the Capital District as a part of a professional team. That first Capital District event raised 43,773 cans, and our efforts put us among the top 25 cities in the world for amount of food raised last year.

This year, a group of students have organized to participate as a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute team in the second annual Capital District CANstruction event, which will be held from April 5-26 on the fourth floor of the New York State Museum.

We are the first student group to participate and we are taking on a big task. We will be designing, building, and fundraising for a 10′ x 10′ x 8′ structure made out of only cans that we purchase. At the end of the three-week exhibit, our structures are deconstructed and the canned goods are distributed to over 50 local food pantries directly.

Through the food pantries, each team has an opportunity to be give directly back to the community by giving them the largest donation they receive all year at no cost to them.

As the first student group, we are proudly representing Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and hope to extend RPI’s reach to the community and surrounding area in a positive way. We are currently fund-raising to cover the costs of purchasing the cans. If you are interested in helping us out, please visit our donation page and click Donate!

We are also throwing a Spaghetti Dinner at the Russell Sage Dining Room on Friday, April 6th from 5-7. The dinner is only $7 and we get 100% of the price directly for our fundraising. If you would like to reserve a spot for you and your friends/family, email me directly at tylerhopf at gmail dot com.

Thanks for your help!