The normally quiet Oval bustled with life Thursday morning as
the Fort Collins community came together in an effort to fight
At 10 a.m., CSU President Larry Penley and Professor Emeritus
Tom Sutherland, the honorary chairmen of the event, placed the
first cans around the Oval, officially kicking off the event.
“This is a 17-year tradition and without the support of the
community of Fort Collins and the CSU community this wouldn’t be a
success. Everyone really came together to fight hunger,” said
Kristin Reed, a senior speech communications major and special
events co-coordinator for the Office Student Leadership and Civic
Over the years, the food drive, which is the largest one-day
food drive in Northern Colorado, has become a community event.
This year, 100,428 pounds of food were collected for the Food
Bank for Larimer County. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, the
top three contributors to the food bank were the Campus Recreation
Center, the College of Business, and the Lory Student Center.
Because food will continue to be collected today, SLCE does not
know which group collected the most food.
Newsom Hall collected the most food out of all of the residence
halls and Boltz Junior High collected the most food out of all
The Food Bank for Larimer County relies heavily on the food that
is donated through the food drive.
“The amount of food this drive brings in doubles other food
drives. It will last us about four and a half months,” said Amy
Pezzani, executive director at the Food Bank for Larimer County.
“Each month the need for food increases. This past September, 700
more people came to the food bank than in September of 2003.”
Soliciting the collection of food for the food bank is important
to Sutherland because of his own experiences.
“I went through a six and a half year period where I didn’t
always get enough to eat. Hunger became a big issue for me and I’ve
been supporting the food bank ever since,” said Sutherland, who was
held hostage in Beirut, Lebanon, for 2,354 days after he was
kidnapped on June 5, 1983, during his employment as dean of
agriculture at the American University of Beirut.
It is not just the CSU community that donates food; the entire
city of Fort Collins pitches in.
“We have all of the schools in Fort Collins doing this together.
There are elementary schools, middle schools and high schools all
collecting food. It really gets everyone together and heightens the
importance of community service and involvement,” Sutherland
Sequoia Williams, a fifth-grader at Bauder Elementary School,
took the day off from school to help line the Oval with cans.
“I brought in two cans because it is fun and makes me feel good
to help people. They can give it to people who don’t have enough
money to buy food,” Williams said.
Ashley Withington, a senior landscape architecture major and
special events co-coordinator for SLCE, got involved in the event
for personal reasons.
“I have a personal goal that I wanted to create a more engaged
CSU community. I wanted to bridge the gap and make students aware
of what’s going on in the community, not just what’s happening on
campus. This is a way for the Fort Collins community to get engaged
in the CSU community. We got schools involved, which really raised
awareness and circulated the word,” Withington said.
Pezzani explained the importance of the food drive to the
“Food is a basic need for all. Because of high housing and
medical costs many people struggle to make ends meet. This food
drive raises hunger-awareness among the community,” Pezzani
“I love making a difference. I know I’m in a position to affect
the world and fill a need that is ever-present,” Reed said.