C.A.N.S. Around the Oval raises nearly $52K and 18,000 pounds of food

Cans of food along the Oval

The 33rd year of C.A.N.S. Around the Oval wrapped up on Oct. 16, generating $51,966 in donations and 17,918 pounds of food.

C.A.N.S., which stands for “cash and nutritious staples,” is one of the largest fund and food drives in Northern Colorado. The Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement office coordinates the month-long event, in which thousands of people in the CSU community and local community participate to raise awareness about hunger by “CANtributing” in various ways.

“We had 133 folks volunteer with SLiCE on World Food Day, either with C.A.N.S. Around the Oval or Rams Against Hunger’s Day of Giving/Meal Swipe Program,” said Sarah Stephens, SLiCE’s senior program coordinator of community engagement. “We finished with a total of 534 unique online donors, which was 138 more than last year. These donors are among approximately 10,000 people who CANtributed in various ways to the overall event. SLiCE and the Food Bank are deeply grateful, and we want to thank all of the individual donors, volunteers, promoters, departments, students, community organizations and K-12 schools who participated.”

New ways to participate

This year, SLiCE’s Service Liaison Team, which coordinates the event, aimed to enhance creativity, accessibility and education in C.A.N.S. Around the Oval. In addition to donating, SLiCE encouraged people to volunteer, educate themselves and others, and be innovative with their “mini” food/fund drives. SLiCE suggested both new and traditional ways to participate to enhance the quality and quantity of CANtributions and better meet today’s community needs. But participating teams were also told to be mindful of their populations, and if the act of donating money, food, or time would be added stressors to people’s lives, then SLiCE advised against it.

The Food Bank for Larimer County can transform each dollar donated into two meals, so monetary donations are very important. But non-perishable foods are still very much desired. According to a 2013 survey, approximately 1 in 10 CSU students are food insecure. But more recent estimates show that figure closer to 3 in 10. Additionally, 40,200 Larimer County residents are food insecure. About 11% of those are seniors, one-third are school-aged children who receive free and reduced meals, and 30.8% are single mothers living in poverty, according to the Food Bank for Larimer County. For more information about food insecurity and hunger on local, national and global scales, visit cans.colostate.edu.

“This year’s event was a great success, bringing in a total of 2,483 meals, by far our largest Day of Giving effort to date,” said Michael Buttram, SLiCE’s program coordinator of alternative breaks, who leads SLiCE’s Day of Giving. “Through the generosity of a great many students and volunteers, those meals will now be reallocated to CSU students currently experiencing high levels of food insecurity. To all those who volunteered and donated, for both events, thank you for being a force in combatting food insecurity on campus and beyond.”

The winners

Based on a new point system in which pounds of food, monetary donations, volunteer hours and competition against fellow teams were factored into overall totals, below are the winners for each category of the 2019 C.A.N.S Around the Oval Friendly Competition.

Top overall donors

1st Overall: College of Business – 74,619 points (or $14,560 and 609 pounds of food and 13 volunteers)

2nd Overall: Office of the Vice President for Research and Divisions – 43,667 points (or $9,512.27 and 31 pounds of food)

3rd Overall: Rocky Mountain High School – 27,583 points (or $3,627.25 and 4,723 pounds of food)

Overall Honorable Mention: Kinard Middle School – 25,980 points (or $4,108.99 and 2,718 pounds of food)

Setting cans along the Oval

CSU Colleges/Departments

1st: College of Business – 74,619 points (or $14,560 and 609 pounds of food and 13 volunteers)

2nd: Office of the Vice President for Research and Divisions – 43,667 points (or $9,512.27 and 31 pounds of food)

3rd: College of Agricultural Sciences – 9,618 points (or $2,065.53 and 734 pounds of food and six volunteers)

Honorable Mention: Administration Building (1st and 2nd Floor) – 9,467 points (or $2,795 and 34 pounds of food and two volunteers)

CSU Student Groups

1st: Dean’s Student Leadership Council, College of Business – 9,796 points (or $1,844 and 38 pounds of food and five volunteers)

2nd: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee – 5,625 points (or $1,120 and 12 pounds of food)

3rd: Microbiology Student Association – 1,000 points (or $200)

Honorable Mention: Kappa Kappa Gamma – 840 points (or $168)

K-12 Schools

1st: Rocky Mountain High School – 27,583 points (or $3,627.25 and 4,723 pounds of food)

2nd: Kinard Middle School – 25,980 points (or $4,108.99 and 2,718 pounds of food)

3rd: Lesher Middle School, an IB World School – 5,871 points (or $948.50 and 564 pounds of food)

Honorable Mention: Bethke Elementary – 3,764 points (or 1,882 pounds of food)

CSU President Joyce McConnell

CSU President Joyce McConnell at the Oct. 16 collection ceremony

Community Organizations

1st: St. Joseph Catholic Church “Works” Youth Ministry – 1,459 points (or $273 and 47 pounds of food)

2nd: Semester at Sea – 1,383 points (or $230 and 117 pounds of food)

3rd: Cooper Home – 770 points (or 135 pounds of food and 18 volunteers)

Honorable Mention: Allium Church – 85 points (or 42 pounds of food)

Random Acts of Kindness

More than 50 individuals did not CANtribute on behalf of a team, but still gave $969 and 209 pounds of food, and volunteered at least 10 hours of time to World Food Day.

The CSU Motorpool donated vehicles to use for Collection Day pick up at K-12 schools, and Pizza Casbah donated half of the pizzas distributed to volunteers at Collection Day. In addition, Julesbee Lifestyle Photography donated its time and effort to capture the event through photography and videography.

To find out about a specific participating team’s exact totals (i.e. points, pounds of food, dollars, volunteer numbers, etc.), contact Sarah Stephens at sarah.stephens@colostate.edu.

Photos from this year’s C.A.N.S. Around the Oval are available on Flickr.

CSU University Communications Staff