On Friday, the month-long Cans Around the Oval food drive to support the Larimer County Food Bank drew to a close, leaving the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement office just shy of their goal and unable to break the world record for the largest structure made of canned goods.
This year, the drive was able to raise $24,708.35 in monetary donations with each dollar representing one pound of food, and 83,701.10 actual pounds of food for a total of 108,409.45 pounds of food.
“Our goal is to always exceed the last year’s total poundage, but this year we fell a little short of that goal,” said Jake Blumberg, program coordinator with SLiCE.
“Last year’s total was around 127,000 pounds of food, and we set the record the year before with around 147,000 pounds of food.”
The weak economy is believed to play a key role in donations being lower this year.
“We believe the tough economy may be partially responsible for this total,” Blumberg said.
“Yet, it is still quite a victory and positive to raise that much food and money, and it will keep many Larimer County residents from going hungry in the coming months.”
After finishing the structure on Friday, all the donations were counted and taken to the food bank for distribution.
With every dollar raised, the food bank is able to buy $10 worth of food; therefore, Cans Around the Oval raised the equivalent of $247,083.50.
“The food that (the Food Bank of Larimer County) gets is the food that they get, and that’s great, but the monetary donations they get is a lot different because they get to choose how the money is spent,” said volunteer Sam Bowersox-Daily, a junior sociology major.
“They have flexibility to buy the food they need to make the meals for their individual programs.”
In the first 20 years of the event, Cans Around the Oval collected more than 936,000 pounds of food, and this year, the one million pound mark was reached.
“This is an awesome milestone,” said Amy Pezzani, executive director with the Food Bank of Larimer County.
“Cans is the largest food drive we have, by far. By the time the big day rolls around each year we are getting very low on food drive food, so it helps tremendously to restock our inventory.”
Staff writer Kayla Huddleston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.