Annual drive for Food Bank for Larimer County needs your ‘CANtributions’

Colorado State University recently kicked off its annual drive — C.A.N.S. Around The Oval — to collect nonperishable food and raise money for the Food Bank for Larimer County.

According to C.A.N.S. organizer Sarah Stephens, some of the most-needed foods include peanut butter, pasta, rice and beans — many of the staples stocked up on during the early days of COVID-19.

Learn more

 Donate to C.A.N.S. Around The Oval and get important information on the friendly competition and team challenges as well as more ways to creatively, collaboratively and consciously “CANtribute” by visiting cans.colostate.edu.

“We won’t take your extra toilet paper, but we will happily take any of your extra nutritious staples, nonperishable food items and monetary ‘CANtributions,’” said Stephens, who serves as senior program coordinator of community engagement and student staff development in SLiCE at CSU.

“We won’t take your extra toilet paper, but we will happily take any of your extra nutritious staples, nonperishable food items and monetary ‘CANtributions.’”

— Sarah Stephens, senior program coordinator of community engagement and student staff development in SLiCE

The 30-day “CANpaign” kicked off Sept. 16 and ends Oct. 16 on World Food Day, with activities ramping up during World Food Week, Oct. 12-16.

For this year’s C.A.N.S. (Cash And Nutritious Staples), organizers are aiming to raise at least $34,000 online in honor of the 34th year of the annual tradition and collect at least 8,000 pounds of food. The 4-ton target equals one week’s worth of food distribution at CSU’s Mobile Food Pantry.

Stephens said that donating nonperishable food is important as it allows the Food Bank for Larimer County to focus on acquiring more perishable foods and providing more variety with nonperishables to their clients. She added that university community members can donate nonperishable foods on campus Oct. 14-16, with more information found at cans.colostate.edu.

Supporting the Ramily

There are different ways of participating in C.A.N.S. Around The Oval, including chalking The Plaza.

With monetary donations, Stephens said every dollar donated equates to two meals provided to Food Bank for Larimer County clients, adding that C.A.N.S. benefits university community members through Rams Against Hunger initiatives as well.

“C.A.N.S. connects to the Food Bank for Larimer County,” Stephens said, “while the food bank reciprocates by supplying our Rams Against Hunger program via the Pocket Pantries and the Mobile Food Pantry on campus.

While there won’t be a collection event at the Oval this year due to COVID-19, Stephens said cans.colostate.edu will serve as a virtual hub for engagement and support, with informative talks and other virtual attractions in the works.

Stephens added that C.A.N.S. Around The Oval helps to fill a giving void at a critical time of the year and helps get people into a giving mindset during the fall season.

“We’re really trying to utilize ‘CANtribution,’” Stephens said. “While donating dollars and food is important, there are other ways to show support if you don’t have the capability to give in that way right now. You can volunteer your time at the Food Bank for Larimer Country. You can post on social media to spread the word. You can chalk The Plaza with artistic expression and educational messaging. But together, we can relieve food insecurity for fellow Rams and our local Northern Colorado neighbors this fall even in virtual and physically distanced ways.”