Larimer County community members met Tuesday alongside CSU students and faculty members to start addressing hunger in Larimer County, a problem that affects more than 30,000 people.
More than 90 groups registered to participate in Cans Around the Oval, an annual SLiCE sponsored event geared toward collecting canned food and raising money.
According to Cassie Rosch, a CSU graduate who now works as the volunteer manager at the Food Bank for Larimer County, the month-long event does more than simply alleviate some of the hunger concerns within northern Colorado.
â€œI think it is easy for students to disconnect from Fort Collins, and this is a way that we bridge Fort Collins into CSU, where it feels like we are all working towards the same common goal,â€ Rosch said.
Although this is her first year working Cans Around the Oval, Emma Martens, a SLiCE student employee, shares a similar thought.
â€œI think in my work with Cans so far, I have been astounded by the amount of students and community groups registering side by side,â€ said Martens. â€œJust today weâ€™ve had so much diversity in the Fort Collins community, coming in to register and get supplies and just seeming really excited about giving back to the community.â€
For 25 years, Cans Around the Oval has been the single most lucrative food drive benefiting the Food Bank for Larimer County. In last yearâ€™s drive, Cans Around the Oval collected approximately 71,000 pounds of food, enough to supply food for nearly 55,000 meals.
For Rosch and her coworkers, every single pound donated is paramount to families struggling with hunger throughout the holiday season.
Cans Around the Oval is set up to be like an umbrella food drive, in which groups that register to participate are in charge of their own mini food drives.
â€œOur goal remains the same as it was last year, which is to increase participation,â€ said SLiCE Program Coordinator Brett Rundle. â€œWe feel like if weâ€™re able to increase the number of individuals that take part, that will increase the knowledge and awareness of local hunger issues.â€
Aside from registering yesterday, Cans Around the Oval distributed materials to help jumpstart each mini drive. Distributed materials included canvassing territories, posters and collection boxes.
The groups that participated last year totaled 140 groups including local public high schools, residence halls, Greek organizations and local businesses.
This yearâ€™s Cans Around the Oval will include multiple events throughout the weeks of Sept. 13 and Oct. 20.
For the first time, the food drive will host a letter-writing party for students to send letters to friends and family, as well as to Colorado politicians inviting them to get involved in Cans Around the Oval.
CSU fans are also now able to participate without registering, just by going to the homecoming football game. All in attendance will raise 10 cents each, which will be donated by Coach Steve Fairchild and his wife.
Volleyball fans are encouraged to bring two cans to the CSU vs. Boise State match to receive free general admission.
A week before collection day, participating groups will assemble on Oct. 6 to reportedly make creative structures with their cans on the Lory Student Center Plaza.
Collection day will follow on the Oct. 12, where the famous lining of the cans around the perimeter of the Oval will take place.
Collegian writer Sarah Fenton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter Writing Party: 9/22
CSU vs Boise State Volleyball Game: 9/24
CSU vs. San Jose State Football Game: 10/1
By the numbers
*Cans Around the Oval 2010 *
unique groups involved
lbs. of food collected
number of times the cans circled the oval
Collection Day:10/ 12
Hunger Banquet: 10/20