To raise money, food for those in need
Canstruction, a charitable competition that takes place all throughout the country, is coming to Midland in a collaboration between the Midland Mall, Midland Public Schools and the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network (EFPN).
As part of the competition, teams made of local middle and high school students will design and build structures made entirely of unopened canned and boxed food, to raise money and feed those in need.
The goal is to raise awareness about food insecurity in Midland County, which is a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The net proceeds of the Canstruction project will help support EFPN’s mission of providing food to people who have emergency needs, and are living near or below the Federal poverty level income guidelines.
According to EFPN, 45% of Midland County calls to 2-1-1 in 2019 were for food. The majority of those calls were sent to EFPN and people were helped by one of EFPN’s eight pantries.
Each creative structure the students build will feature about 2,000 items of food, which will then be donated afterward.
In addition, a key component of the challenge is that students will use STEAM principles — science, math, engineering, art and math — to design and create their sculptures, which will all be built and displayed at the Midland Mall.
EFPN Board Member Kim Birch said Canstruction is a great event because it requires a community-wide effort, pulling together local students, volunteers and members of the business community to support a common goal.
“Everyone’s just coming together to help raise awareness for food insecurity and it’s just an amazing event, and I think it will be a really great experience for the students,” she said.
Those interested in sponsoring the event or donating anything to help can call Birch at 989-529-6889 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The sponsorship deadline is Jan. 31, however, community support will be needed once the structures are built.
After build day on Feb. 21, the public will be able to purchase tickets and vote for their favorite art installation at the mall, further supporting the project and its goal.
To learn more about Canstruction, visit www.canstruction.org/