Ha-CAN-a Matata: K4 and TriHealth team up to fight hunger

It’s CANstruction time here in Cincinnati and TriHealth and K4 are participating.  This event (which is in its 22ndyear) is a competition between local architects, engineers, designers and contractors who design and build amazing giant-sized structures made entirely out of canned foods. After the structures are built and the winners declared, the creations go on to become a giant public art exhibit.

At the close of the competition, all of the food used in the structures is donated to the local food bank for distribution to community emergency feeding programs. Through the generosity of volunteers, celebrity jurors and members of our local community, Cincinnati CANstruction has contributed 817,000 pounds of food to the Freestore Foodbank, enough to provide over 681,000 meals to our hungry neighbors in the Tri-State area.

All 8,283 cans that went into our structure. Author’s own photos

In addition to helping fight hunger in our hometown, participating in CANstruction does so much for us as a firm – it’s a great team building activity, it’s an opportunity to engage in friendly competition with firms in the industry and it gives us a fun challenge.

We are excited to have TriHealth as a partner this year, an organization that supports so many organizations locally.

“TriHealth knows that hunger is an absolute health issue in our community and remains committed to addressing this crisis, said Jeanette Altenau, Director of Community Relations, TriHealth. “Sponsoring CANstruction not only helps provide food to families in need, but it gives us a creative and fun way to create conversations around food insecurity and the need for change.”

Each team comes up with a theme that ties into the structure they are designing. We came up with a play on words from a hit song from the Lion King movie – Hakuna matata- and went with Ha-“can”-a matata. Our structure depicts a scene from the movie where the main characters (Simba, Pumbaa & Timon) are crossing a fallen log and singing the song. “Hakuna matata” is a Swahili language phrase from East Africa meaning“no trouble, no worries.”

The completed structure – Photo by Mark Burgess @ Corporate Photo Group
Close up of Timon – Photo by Mark Burgess @ Corporate Photo Group

Unfortunately, here in Cincinnati many people do have worries when it comes to homelessness, food scarcity, and neighborhood food deserts. We want to do whatever we can to make sure more people here have “Hakuna Matata!”

Update April 5, 2019: “Ha-CAN-a Matata, & the TriHealth & K4 Canstruction team took home the “Best Meal” and “People’s Choice” awards! Thank you to all who supported our structure, and in turn helped us to fight hunger!