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Volume 13, Issue 50 ~ December 15 - December 21, 2005

Lend a Hand — or a Can

Seasonal donation drives usher in a holiday of sharing

story & photos by Carrie Steele

A small city popped up in the food court of Arundel Mills mall in the most artful of donation drives. Famous structures, replicated to scale with canned non-perishables at the food court in Arundel Mills Mall, taught 14 Anne Arundel Community College student architects to give as well as design. They used the donated canned foods to make eight-foot-high mini-monuments, each using thousands of donated cans to be ultimately donated to Food Link Inc., an emergency food program that distributes food to Anne Arundel County hunger relief programs.

Bush’s Baked Beans, Spam, Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna and more became building blocks as students bound their structures with clear plastic tape to mortar the cans in place. The Eiffel Tower, called Bon Appetite, was made entirely of Bush’s Baked Beans. The façade of the Waterwich Hook & Ladder Fire Station No. 1, entitled Fire Station Canstruct, was carefully crafted with McCormick Black Pepper. Students planned ahead how many of each type of can they’d need to color-coordinate labels, before the cans were ordered and paid for with donated money.

These canned structures were part of teams of a national competition, the 10th Annual Canstruction Competition, that runs July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006, where student architects and engineers from all over the country vie for honors before the cans are donated to local charities.

It’s too late to get your can into the Arc de Triomphe, made of more orange-labeled baked beans and blue-labeled tuna. But your donated gifts could still help feed, clothe or bring a smile to someone in need this season. Sharing with the community can help bring on the Christmas spirit, so you, as well as those you’re helping, stand to benefit.

Here are just a few of the many locations that need food donations for the holidays — and all year long.

In Anne Arundel County

l Food Link, Inc.: Donate to the emergency food pantry or the emergency baby pantry, among others, at 2666 Riva Rd., 3rd Floor MS 8302, Annapolis: 410-222-7853;

l 22nd Annual Homeless Drive: Donate bag lunches, snack foods and bottled water as well as clothing and more. 11am-4pm Dec. 20-23, volunteers needed to help collect and organize donations of clothing, food and more at the Farmers Market on Riva Rd. Sponsored by Giving Back at 626 C Admiral Dr., Annapolis, 21401: 410-295-0889;

l Light House Shelter: 9am-3pm M-F; Donate canned or other non-perishable foods and bag lunches at Annapolis Area Ministries, Inc., 206 West St. Annapolis, 21401: 410-268-0182;

l Salvation Army’s Food Pantry on Hilltop Lane: Donate canned or other non-perishable foods at 351 Hill Top Ln., Annapolis: 410-263-4091.

In Calvert County

l Calvert County Social Services: 9-5pm, M-F; In great need of donated food, especially basics like peanut butter and jelly. Located in the District Court Building, off Main St., Prince Frederick: 443-550-6900.

l Catholic Community Services: 9-5pm, M-F; Donate food for food pantry off Main St., Prince Frederick: 410-535-0309.

l SMILE Services: 9-5pm, M-F; Donate canned goods for food pantry and other donations in good condition; call to match your goods with need. SMILE Services, Lusby: 410-326-0009.

© COPYRIGHT 2004 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.