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LERA Takes Home "Best Structural Ingenuity" & "20-Year" Awards at CANstruction New York 2021!

Latest update: This year LERA was honored with CANstruction's 20-Year Award for participating in the CANstruction design competition since 2002. To date, LERA has donated nearly 76,000 canned goods and food items to local charities, helping to feed over 12,000 New Yorkers, and have won 18 awards for our creative CANstruction designs.


LERA's entry for this year's Canstruction New York, titled "End Hunger ATLAS-t," was awarded Best Structural Ingenuity, one of the top prizes at the 29th installation of the annual charitable design competition.

Canstruction brings teams of architects, engineers, contractors and students together to create giant structures made entirely from unopened cans of food, which are then donated to those in need. This year, LERA's team of volunteers designed and constructed an 8-ft tall Atlas, ancient Greek master of astronomy, tasked with holding up the heavens by the Greek gods. The structure is made from nearly 3,200 cans of tuna cans.

On public display through November 15st, the structure will be "de-canstructed" at the end of the exhibition, when all of the cans are donated to City Harvest, a local food charity serving families in need.

Above: Timelapse of build night at Brookfield Place in New York for LERA's winner, "End Hunger ATLAS-t".

When Atlas, ancient Greek master of astronomy, was tasked with holding up the heavens by the Greek gods, he did not back down. Instead, he rose to the occasion, demonstrating limitless resolve to keep the world prospering. Much like Atlas, today we are faced with some astronomical challenges of our own, with the plight of food insecurity near the top of the list. According to City Harvest, throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has increased 38% in New York City, leaving over 1.5 million families—including 1 in 3 children—battling hunger.

Constructed from approximately 3,200 cans, our 8-ft-tall structure of life-size Atlas holding up the 4’ diameter globe illustrates the strength and endurance we can all tap into to overcome the NYC hunger crisis. The sculpture symbolizes the need for all of us, now more than ever, to take responsibility for the food crisis that surrounds us on a daily basis, and to rise like Atlas to support our community. Whereas Atlas’ fate was written in the stars, we have the power to come together to end hunger “ATLAS-t”!


Captain & Co-Captains

Caroline Bambach, Co-Captain; Josh Antolick, Co-Captain; Kristen Bell; Diego Rivera; Christopher Faschan

Team Members

Eddy Roberts, Richard Tran, Lindsey Judge, Stephen Pfund, Sarabjit Singh, Rachel Marek, Hemangi Agarwal, Magen Mintz, Elias Matar, Monica Svojsik

Special thanks to the Partners of LERA for their continued support!


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