C.A.N.S. Around The Oval kicks off Sept. 19

Students make sculptures from donated canned food that represent "Home" during Canstruction on The Plaza at Colorado State University. October 11, 2017

C.A.N.S. Around The Oval — Colorado State University’s annual drive to collect nonperishable food and raise money for the Food Bank for Larimer County — starts on Sept. 19.

Organizers of the 36-year-old tradition said they are aiming to raise $60,000 and get 20,000 pounds of food, with the iconic C.A.N.S. Around The Oval celebration scheduled for Oct. 19.

Basic Needs Program Coordinator Kathryn Conrad, who is part of CSU’s Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office, is encouraging the CSU community to organize teams and donate at secure.foodbanklarimer.org/site/TR?fr_id=1200&pg=entry. (The link goes live on Sept. 19).

“C.A.N.S. has been instrumental over the last 36 years in fostering conversations at CSU and within Larimer County about the all-too-common experience of food insecurity,” Conrad said. “While the food and fund drive aspect of C.A.N.S. Around The Oval is extremely valuable in aiding the Band-Aid solution to food insecurity, the invaluable beauty of C.A.N.S. is that it inspires passion and action to create bigger systemic change each year.”

In addition to featuring opportunities to donate food and funds to The Food Bank for Larimer County, the monthlong tradition will provide chances to learn about food insecurity. Conrad said organizers are anticipating hosting five CANversation sessions with community partners to educate people about food insecurity in Larimer County and what is currently being done to alleviate it.

C.A.N.S. — which stands for “cash and nutritious staples” — is one of the largest fund and food drives in Northern Colorado. Last year, the effort raised $66,498.65 and collected 19,082 pounds of food.

The annual fall staple at CSU includes a competition in which colleges, departments, divisions and other groups can compete to raise the most funds and give the most food. The winners will be published on the C.A.N.S. Around The Oval website as well as SOURCE. As part of the kickoff, CSU students will be doing an Instagram takeover on Sept. 20 on @coloradostateuniversity with trivia questions.

“We would love to see some healthy CANpetition this year,” Conrad said. “Attending CANversation sessions counts for a good number of points, so even if your team might not have a lot to contribute monetarily, you can still be competitive by simply participating.”

Learn more

For information about C.A.N.S. Around The Oval or help registering a team after Kick-Off Day, contact Kathryn Conrad at kathryn.conrad@colostate.edu.