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Julie is a master's student at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in the department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Her interests include how health communication affects personal motivation to engage behavior change and how health communication influences public policy.

can do

Project Can Do!

In 64 hours Moline, Illinois became home to the largest can structure every built. My childhood home is less than 15 miles from the structure site, yet I had no idea this monumental task was being completed—I found out via social media.

The project was sponsored by John Deere. It was called Project Can Do. The purpose of the sculpture was to raise awareness for the role of farmers in producing the abundant harvest for the growing world market and also raise awareness about hunger in the United States. John Deere used social media to involve people around the world to watch live video feeds of the building process, learn about farmers and farm equipment, and create a virtual can to donate to the food bank. After the being on display, all 308,408 cans of food will be donated to the River Bend Food Bank.

So what exactly can 308,408 cans of food build anyway? A life-size replica of a John Deere Combine complete with rows of corn about to be harvested.
Check out the many YouTube time lapse video of the project.

What makes this health communication newsworthy? John Deere only started using social media a little over a year ago and this was the first time the company every attempted a can sculpture to promote a cause. It brought people together from across cities which serve the River Bend Food Bank and across the country. The campaign did not imply blame for uneven food distribution but rather celebrated those who produce the food and provided over 240,000 meals to hungry families in the 22 counties the River Bend Food Bank serves.

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