The Oval buzzed Wednesday as volunteers, students and Fort Collins residents came out to support the 24th annual Cans Around the Oval fundraiser, a food drive that raises hunger awareness and canned food for the Food Bank of Larimer County.
Volunteers from Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement, or SLiCE, and the Food Bank of Larimer County gathered around the Oval to set up a food drop off location.
â€œThereâ€™s been a lot of people coming through and a lot of volunteers,â€ said Pilar Delgado, a student coordinator for the fundraiser. â€œItâ€™s been awesome.â€
Since itâ€™s inception in the fall of 1987, Cans Around the Oval has grown into one of the largest canned food drives for the Food Bank.
Chuck Gill, the Food Bankâ€™s assistant director, said it was originally just a campus event.
â€œWhen they added the community, thatâ€™s when it really started growing,â€ he said.
In 2009, Cans Around the Oval received $27,000 in monetary donations as well as 90,000 pounds of canned food. The proceeds went toward the 7.5 million pounds of food distributed by the food bank to Larimer County residents in 2009.
Event organizers will have the total can and monetary donation total later today.
â€œThereâ€™s a definite need out there in Larimer County,â€ said Brett Rundle, the food driveâ€™s program coordinator. â€œWhat weâ€™re doing out here is a tremendous help, but itâ€™s only one piece of the pie.â€
About 145 registered groups and 10 unregistered groups donated food and money to the food drive. This level of participation is what Rundle hoped to see.
â€œWeâ€™re hoping to top last yearâ€™s numbers and increase participation,â€ Rundle said. â€œItâ€™s an opportunity for students here to give back to a community that gives a lot to them.â€
One of the main contributors is CSUâ€™s College of Business, whose representatives donated truckfulls of canned food.
According to the Food Bankâ€™s website, it provides food for 28,500 residents throughout Larimer County. The Bankâ€™s food share program distributes 40 pounds of food per person, per month.
City Council beat reporter Erin Udell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org