CSU students participate in CANstruction to raise donations for the Food Bank of Larimer County

CANstruction, part of the largest canned food drive in Northern Colorado, took place Wednesday on the Lory Student Center Plaza and will continue to receive donations for the Food Bank of Larimer County through the next week.

“Without our donations, (the food bank) wouldn’t be able to meet the high demand of their customers and families,” senior marketing major and student coordinator for SLiCE James Bryant said.

CANstruction is part of the larger Cans Around the Oval food drive.

Campus groups including the College of Business, CSU Pre-Vet Club, Gamma Phi Beta, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and Warner Business Council, are all competing to collect the most amount of foodstuff.

The groups received donations from members within their respective groups and many have ventured into the Fort Collins community to ask for donations door-to-door.

“The event gives members in each college an opportunity to meet other students and build camaraderie between the colleges,” Bryant said.

Most of the participating groups started collecting cans last month and will continue to receive donations until Oct. 17.

“We’re all willing to step up and donate our time to collect cans because it’s important for the food bank and it’s an empowering event the university does,” junior environmental communication major Jamie Ragusa said.

Last year Cans Around the Oval raised $34,000 and $60,000 pounds of food and SLiCE is hoping to surpass those numbers this year.

“We’re really pushing monetary donations this year,” Bryant said. “$20 can go further than one can of food.”

Members of the College of Business group visited the food bank to take pictures of the line.

“We wanted to show there is a need,” senior business major Irene Chaves said. “It’s not just a competition. With the fires and everything else going on people are really suffering.”

Intentionally raising food and money to help people in the Fort Collins community who are suffering has pushed each group to raise the most cans and, despite the rivalries within the competition, many group members have not forgotten the deeper purpose of the event.

Keith McCaskell, a junior majoring in landscape design and member of the MANRRS club, said they are asking people to write a message on the top of the cans they donate.

“We hope the family who receives that can will get our message that we support them,” McCaskell said.

Supporting people who are suffering in Larimer County can help CSU students remember that hunger is an issue in our own community, not just an issue in other parts of the world, junior equine science major and member of Gamma Phi Beta Arielle Stewart said.

“As college students we don’t really struggle with finding food and CANstruction on the Oval is a good reminder that people just up the street don’t have enough to eat,” Stewart said.

Senior Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at news@collegian.com.