The Colorado State University tradition Cans Around the Oval collected a total of 41,670 pounds of food and raised $57,714 in additional funds for the Larimer County Food Bank during this year’s drive.
The event collects non-perishable canned food items as well as monetary donations for the food bank.
The collection event commemorated the 30th year of the fundraiser. The drive has collected and donated about 330,244 pounds of food over the years.
Claire Andrues, a SLiCE student coordinator for the event majoring in interdisciplinary liberal arts explained the importance of this year’s collection.
Andues said there is a need for a drive like Cans Around the Oval because it helps the community.
“Often times, food insecurity is not visible to us,” Andrues said. “Our peers face it: our community members, the staff that work at the CSU campus, and community members off campus. So many of them face food insecurity, and we often just don’t know about it.”
The food bank has served over 2.3 million meals with donations from the fundraiser, Andrues said.
Andrues said the event allows for CSU students to get involved with the campus to help others and raise awareness for the issue of food insecurity.
“There isn’t another event where people bring boxes and boxes of cans and bags of money on the Oval on the administration steps and get to show their hard work,” Andrues said.
The cans are taken to the Larimer County Food Bank after the fundraiser, where the cans are sorted and then immediately distributed to the community, Andrues said. All of the monetary donations go into fresh produce and meals programs; $1 donated is equivalent to 5 pounds of food.
Andrues said the fundraiser began after one student saw that there were no other food drives in the area, and it continues because the problem of food insecurity persists on campus and in the community.
“We like to celebrate 30 years, but we still recognize that we are still doing this…. it’s a CSU tradition and students look forward to it,” Andrues said. “The SLiCE office has student coordinators and volunteers that come out to do it, keeping the notion going that we still are facing food insecurity and hunger.”
Andrues noted that even though it is a CSU event, anyone can come and donate cans and money to the fundraiser.
Gabrielle Herrera, a student volunteer and senior majoring in psychology, volunteered for the event.
“It’s important to give back in any way you can for the less fortunate,” Herrera said. “(It is) just great to participate in CSU activities and know that it’s going for a greater good.”
Collegian reporter Logan Crizer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @logloc19.