Colorado State University’s annual drive — C.A.N.S. Around The Oval — to collect nonperishable food and raise money for the Food Bank for Larimer County is ramping up with activities and events in October.
The 35-year-old tradition is back with in-person events this year, including the iconic C.A.N.S. Around The Oval celebration on Oct. 20. The goal is to raise $40,000 and get 20,000 pounds of food, according to C.A.N.S. organizer Michael Buttram, who serves as the basic needs program manager for CSU’s Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office.
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.
Buttram, who started in this new role in August, is optimistic about exceeding this year’s monetary and food targets, especially at a time when the community is still being affected by COVID-19.
“The strains of COVID are still prevalent in our community,” he said. “C.A.N.S. Around The Oval elevates the issue and ensures a stronger community across Larimer County and right here on the CSU campus. This is a great way for Rams to take care of Rams.”
The annual event is designed to raise awareness about food insecurity and collect donations (monetary and non-perishable foods) for the Food Bank for Larimer County. According to organizers, the food bank not only serves the county at-large but the local campus community via the Rams Against Hunger program.
In addition to organizing C.A.N.S., Buttram oversees Rams Against Hunger, which offers a variety of services to support students, faculty and staff experiencing food insecurity. Services include a food pantry, a meal-swipe program, pocket pantries and in-person assistance with navigating federal aid eligibility.
“We try to support student, faculty and staff situations holistically, connecting them with the support services they deserve so they can fully participate in their role here at CSU,” Buttram said.
How to participate in C.A.N.S. Around The Oval
People can bring food items to the C.A.N.S. Around The Oval celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Oval. In addition, people can drop off food items at the SLiCE office (LSC 210) between now and the event. Individuals can also register a team or donate at cans.colostate.edu.
Buttram said that 100 teams have already registered to participate in this year’s event, with $4,500 already raised.
Buttram added that they also are resurrecting another tradition — CANstrcution. On Wednesday, Oct. 13, registered teams will have the opportunity to create “iCanic” structures, such as the Eiffel Tower, out of cans on the LSC Plaza from 8 a.m. to noon.
“We’re excited,” he said. “With the number of teams signing up and the number of colleges participating, I hope we can break some records this year.”