Sep 112007
 
Authors: Elizabeth Fritzler

Cans Around the Oval, now the largest food drive in Northern Colorado, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

Today, ASCSU will distribute boxes, flyers, maps and general information between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in its Senate Chambers, located in the Lory Student Center.

Volunteers will collect food through Oct. 11. And per university custom, after the cans are collected, they will be designed around the perimeter of the Oval.

“It was a student’s idea to line up the cans to pay homage to tradition,” said Camille Howells, SLICE’s program coordinator.

In 2006, volunteers collected more than 140,000 pounds of food. This is a major increase from 2005, which totaled 117,000 pounds.

The Food Bank for Larimer County is a nonprofit, private business that benefits from other area food drives such as 9 Cares, Colorado Shares and the Coloradoan Food Drive.

“As soon as the temperature changes and the weather starts getting cooler, we start seeing an increase in need,” said Heather Buoniconti, development director for the Food Bank. “This is a huge time for us. The food that comes in this fall really kicks off the season.”

To acknowledge the 20-year milestone, the logo was redesigned, and SLiCE used additional promotion to involve more community partners.

Through Oct. 6, Spoons Soups and Salads will sell tickets to raise money for Cans Around the Oval. After CSU’s Homecoming parade, ticket holders may pick up their soup at the Campus West Spoons location. This promotion is one of three supplementary events before the drop-off day.

CANstruction, community groups that build canned food structures, and the Oxfam Hunger Banquet will serve as additional support for Cans in October.

Jake Blumberg, special events and public relations coordinator for SLICE, is participating this year, making it his third year as a Cans volunteer.

“It’s a really powerful experience to see people bring in boxes and boxes of food,” Blumberg said. “Our goal is to make the program grow from year to year.”

Staff writer Elizabeth Fritzler can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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