Courtesy of Arts Brookfield / Ryan Muir

Canstruction feeds thousands of hungry families a year.

Charlie Heller
November 03, 2017

With nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers struggling to put food on their tables every year, according to food rescue organization City Harvestfood insecurity is a major problem in the city. Fortunately, the organization is here to help, and, in partnership with Arts Brookfield, they are making some incredible can art in the process. Located throughout Brookfield Place (230 Vesey St.), the 25th annual Canstruction competition features 27 teams of architects, engineers and contractors competing to build massive, detailed sculptures entirely from unopened cans, which are then donated to families in need.

From November 2 to 15, can creations like DeSimone Consulting Engineers'  Shel Silverstein-inspired "The Giving Tree," and Gilsanz Murray Stefiecks' "Snorlax the Sleeping PoCANmon" will fill the building, with creators going after coveted prizes like "Best Meal," "Structural Integrity," "Best Original Design" and "People's Choice," which you can vote for yourself. And even more importantly, help make the largest single event donation to City Harvest of the year.

Courtesy of Arts Brookfield / Ryan Muir

While the sculpture's scope and scale are best seen in person, a time lapse of the con/canstruction process shows the sheer effort that goes into this creative Thanksgiving tradition. But the imaginative Canstructors, who spend months planning their structures' larger-than-life designs before assembling them in a single, overnight build, want you to participate, too.

Last year, Canstruction saw over 40,000 visitors and donated 64,000 pounds of food, which fed more than 21,000 hungry families for a day. Over the ten years Canstruction has been held at Brookfield Place, 936,558 cans (or 752,617 pounds) of food have been donated through the competition—a number that helps City Harvest distribute the rescued food to over 500 community food programs across New York City's five boroughs. With visitors encouraged to bring their own non-perishable food donations (to bins 230 Vesey St., second level), it just might be your can that cracks a million.