Kentucky ranks 17th in the nation for household food insecurity, according to Feeding America Kentucky's Heartland, a local charity. In West Louisville, where nearly half of residents live in poverty, a nonprofit developer is hoping to change that with the help of some high-profile architects. Seed Capital Kentucky's plan is an OMA-designed “Food Hub” on an abandoned plot of land once used to cut and dry tobacco. Mayor Greg Fischer last year gave them a 24-acre vacant parcel of land in the West End worth $1.2 million for the project, which he called "a green job-generating machine for west Louisville." The project could create about 250 permanent jobs and 270 construction jobs, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. WDRB first reported last week that the hub's designers include OMA and local firm GBBN Architects. The Fox affiliate reported Seed Capital Kentucky is $1 million into their $20 million fundraising goal, seeking $46 million in total, including future fundraising phases. That money would go to several programs, including a food bank, retailers, and a biodigester that turns organic waste into heat and energy. So far four organizations are formally on board: KHI Foods, Jefferson County Cooperative Extension, Star Distributed Energy, and the Weekly Juicery. The site, at South 30th Street between Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Market Street, is in a USDA-certified food desert. Seed Capital Kentucky founder Stephen Reily hopes the Food Hub will help alleviate hunger and stoke investment in the neighborhood. "Our vision for this project is one that collapses a lot of those middle men and transactions into one place where they can all work together to help create more fresh, regional food and help our region feed itself more sustainably," he told WDRB.
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Starting last night at the Lower Manhattan’s Brookfield Place World Financial Center, 24 teams of architects, engineers, and MTA employees stacked cans into the small hours of the morning for the 20th Annual NYC CANstruction Competition. Large amorphous structures—some abstract, others more recognizable—emerged out of more than 80,000 cans of food. The firms were given 24-hours to build their sculptures, which will then go on display for 11 days at the World Financial Center, and later dismantled and donated to City Harvest to provide food for the hungry. Last year, the competition yielded 90,000 cans of food, and Lisa Sposato, Associate Director of Food Sourcing Donor Relations at City Harvest, said they've already received 35,000 pounds of cans. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy delayed the competition, and a few teams had to drop out, but several of them donated their cans of food. For several firms, this event has become a tradition. This is Severud Associates’ 19th year in the competition—and by 10 pm, they were almost finished with their sculpture of chess pieces called Can you Check Mate Hunger? WSP Flack + Kurtz and Gensler were more than half-way through their Can’s Best Friend, a balloon-dog-inspired piece that resembled Jeff Koons' iconic sculpture. Patrick Rothwell, an associate at Gensler and a returning competitor, estimated a 1:00 am finish time. “We’re trying to make something unique that also benefits people who are hungry,” said Rothwell. There were a few more abstract concepts, such as STUDIOS architecture’s VeCAN HAM-mer Hunger! a sculpture of a hammer breaking a piggybank or DeSimone Consulting Enginners’ CANdroid based on Google’s Android logo. A few steps away, the MTA team assembled an elaborate 2nd Avenue train creation entitled, CAN YOU DIG IT? The sculptures will be judged by a panel including: Carla Hall of Alchemy and Chef/Co-host of The Chew; John DeSilvia, Host of DIY Network’s Rescue my Renovation; and Frances Halsband, Founding Partner of Kliment Halsband Architects.