Ironman, Captain America and the Hawaiian Superman were among a group of superheroes that joined the fight against hunger in Hawaii this month. Their message: You CAN make a difference! And by can, we’re talking literally thousands of canned goods built into three-dimensional representations of “CANtastic Heroes.” You can check them out at the Pearlridge Center through this weekend.

Ironman fighting hunger with cans of peaches and tomato sauce.

For the past six years, teams of local architects, builders and engineers have competed in the Canstruction Competition, which each year has raised more than 204,000 lbs. of canned food (enough for 160,000 meals). And with this year’s theme being “CANtastic Heroes,” the teams put a slight twist on classic superhero personas, like Captain Ameri-CAN and Maui, the Hawaiian Super CAN. Each caped crusader or first responder was armed and ready to fight hunger with cans of tuna, spam, vienna and the list of weaponry goes on.

My favorite had to be the display of the Despicable Me minion, “Helping Hunger One Minion at a Time.” Complete with lighted eyes and a full set of teeth, the minion won the Structural Ingenuity category overall. It was also a hit with the little kids who instantly recognized the character of this 3D comedy from Universal Pictures.

It’s minion mania at Pearlridge, where the “Despicable Me” character is helping hunger one minion at a time.

You can take part in voting for your favorite till this weekend. The event coordinators ask that the public vote by donating a canned good, with one can equalling one vote. You can vote as many times as you want before the displays are “decanstructed” and the cans donated to the Hawaii Foodbank. That’s cantastic!

Photo Courtesy: The American Institute of Architects-Honolulu

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