Orange County CAN Turn Around Its Shameful Childhood Hunger Statistics

Fluor, 2014's big winner for its Canstruction entry, received the juror's award last year for "Bulldozing Hunger: CAN You Dig It?"
Fluor, 2014's big winner for its Canstruction entry, received the juror's award last year for "Bulldozing Hunger: CAN You Dig It?"

What does Orange County have in common with Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Chicago? Well, besides whatever it is you filled in the blank, O to the C is among the top 10 counties or metropolitan areas in the entire United States where food insecurity is most rampant for those under the age of 18. Fortunately, our charitable types say there are things you can do to turn that sorry statistic around.

Every September, the OC Food Bank, a program of the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC), marks National Hunger Action Month by pointing residents to ways they can help lessen hunger here.

Besides giving time and/or treasure to OC Food Bank, of course, you can get involved by attending the nonprofit's seventh annual CANstruction event at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, which is up in conjunction with The Festival of Children.

Raising awareness for childhood hunger and malnutrition, the event brought together 19 local architectural, engineering, planning and design teams who created structures built entirely out of canned food, all of which will be donated to the OC Food Bank at the completion of the exhibition on Sept. 28.

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This year's Best Meal and People's Choice Award went to Fluor for their "Our LEGOcy to Children" sculpture, which depicts LEGO characters packing canned food in boxes for donation to the OC Food Bank. It took 5,258 cans to build--but unlike other sculptures this one will feed more than 4,380 Orange County children. As noted in the photo up top, Fluor won the CanstructionOC jury award last year for its sculpture "Bulldozing Hunger: CAN You Dig It?"

If you'd like to further get involved in Canstruction, join committee members at 5:30 p.m. today for a tour of the sculptures at South Coast Plaza. Meet at the Garden Terrace outside Macy's.

You can also help lessen hunger by hosting your own canned food drive and donating to and/or volunteering at the OC Food Bank, which just celebrated its 35th anniversary and distributes more than 18 million pounds of food annually to feed the hungry. Learn more by calling 714.897.6670 ext. 3404 or emailing

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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