Cans Around the Oval sets record for donations to Food Bank

Students from Lopez Elementery School join with the CSU Community for Cans Around The Oval. October 21, 2015

Students from Lopez Elementary School join with the CSU community for Cans Around the Oval, Oct. 21, 2015.

Cans Around the Oval, the Colorado State University-led food drive for the Food Bank for Larimer County, this year raised 60,364 pounds of food and $57,030 in cash from both the campus and Fort Collins communities. This translates to a total impact of 345,514 pounds of food that will go to feed the hungry throughout the county.

Cans Around the Oval is the largest annual one-day food drive benefitting the Food Bank, now in its 29th year. In 2014, the effort raised 47,470 pounds and $46,743 for a total impact of 234,444 pounds of food.

Part of the difference this year is that the Food Bank is able to purchase 5 pounds of food for every $1 of cash donated up from 4 pounds last year, explained Jenn Rieskamp, program coordinate for the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement office at CSU, which leads the Cans effort every year. But with higher overall totals, the effort was exceptional.

“Participating in Cans Around the Oval allows CSU students, faculty, staff and community members to come together and make a huge impact and difference in the Fort Collins and Larimer County community,” she said. “Congratulations on a job well done by everyone involved!”

The Food Bank for serves about 30,000 Larimer County residents each year through its two Food Share pantries; 35 percent of its clients are children and seniors. It also provides nearly 80,000 scratch-cooked meals through the Kids Café program as well as more than 100,000 healthy in-school snacks and 23,000 backpacks filled with food for weekends and school breaks, and partners with 84 nonprofits to help them serve their clients nutritious meals throughout the year. The cash donations help the Food Bank purchase fresh bread, meat, dairy and produce for those in need.

The donations raised through Cans Around the Oval will help address the continuing issue of hunger in Larimer County, according to Heather Buoniconti, development director for the Food Bank. 

This is an amazing partnership that unites so many in our community and the record amounts of food and funds generated this year will have a tremendous impact for the thousands of individuals and families we serve,” she said.  “We are truly grateful to CSU and for their ongoing support of the Food Bank and our vision of a hunger free Larimer County.”

Friendly competition for a good cause

Each year, colleges, departments and units on campus and organizations throughout Larimer County engage in a little friendly competition to help boost donations to Cans Around the Oval. This year, the Fort Collins Coloradoan served as a collection site for effort as well.

Based on total impact – food items plus cash donations – here are the winners for each category for 2015. The College of Business is the repeat top food gatherer for the ninth year in a row.

Overall Contest Winners

1st Place: College of Business – 57,555 lbs

2nd Place: Rocky Mountain High School – 37,138 lbs

3rd Place: College of Liberal Arts – 34,586 lbs

CSU Departments, Offices & Colleges

1st Place: College of Business –  57,555 lbs

2nd Place: College of Liberal Arts – 34,586 lbs

3rd Place: Office of the Vice President for Research – 31,741 lbs

Student Organizations

1st Place: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) – 12,828 lbs

2nd Place: Beta Alpha Psi  – 1,643 lbs

3rd Place: Rotoract Club – 1,303 lbs

Fraternities and Sororities

1st Place: Pi Kappa Alpha – 5,966 lbs

2nd Place: Sigma Alpha Epsilion – 1,274 lbs

3rd Place: Zeta Tau Alpha – 381 lbs

Housing and Dining/Residence Halls

1st Place: Corbett Hall Council  – 3,973 lbs

2nd Place: Parmalee Hall – 2,200 lbs

3rd Place: Braiden Hall – 1,428 lbs

Community Schools

1st Place: Rocky Mountain High School – 37,138 lbs

2nd Place: Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School – 14,572 lbs

3rd Place: McGraw IB World School – 6,102  lbs

Fort Collins Community and Faith-Based Organizations

1st Place: First United Methodist Church – 7,495 lbs

2nd Place: Plymouth Congregational Church –  5,226 lbs

 3rd Place: Fort Collins Coloradoan – 1,011 lbs