Sep 162009

Almost 109,000 pounds.

This was the approximate weight of food the CSU and local communities collected last year for the mass food-drive Cans Around the Oval.

Today marks the start of CSU’s 22nd Cans Around the Oval and its distribution day, which starts at 9 a.m. and will run until 5 p.m.

The distribution day is a chance for all who are interested in participating in Cans Around the Oval to register and pick up their food-drive kits from the student government Senate Chambers located in the Lory Student Center.

According to the Student Leadership Involvement and Community Engagement Web site, the kits “include food collection boxes, flyers, neighborhood maps, information packets, and team-challenge forms,” which are used to canvass neighborhoods throughout the Fort Collins community.

Last year, Cans Around the Oval, known as the largest community food drive in Larimer County, collected almost 109,000 pounds of food and more than $25,000 in monetary donations for the Food Bank of Larimer County coordinators said.

According to Keith Colton, SLiCE program coordinator, this year’s goal is to raise more than 100,000 pounds of food.

“The primary purpose is to help the Food Bank by helping those in the most need around us,” Colton said. “As far as this year goes, one thing that we do know is that Cans Around the Oval has traditionally raised a lot of food, but it’s also about coming together as a community and showing we care about people who are at risk in our community for hunger and poverty.”

Between 150 and 200 unique organizations from around the Fort Collins and CSU community join together to participate in Cans Around the Oval, Colton said.

“It’s a wonderful example of how a community can come together and work together,” Heather Buoniconti, development director for the Food Bank of Larimer County, said. “(Cans Around the Oval) is our kickoff for our food drive season. It gets people aware of the food bank and the increased need.”

Although students and community members are encouraged to register, those who do not want to enroll in Cans Around the Oval are still able to participate. Food and monetary donations will be accepted through the SLiCE office as well as on the Oval on Oct. 14.

Colton said that if every CSU student donated 10 cans or $10, it would equate to 250,000 pounds of food.

“We just like to see as many people get together as possible. Even if it’s one can of food,” Colton said.

Stephanie Wilcon, a sophomore political science major, said that although she did not register for the event last year, she plans to this year.

“Last year I didn’t register for the event, but I did donate about 15 cans,” Wilcon said. “It’s good to know that you are helping others out. This year I want to do more for my community.”

Although there is no official deadline to register, the SLiCE office prefers everyone registers by Sept. 18.

For more information on Cans Around the Oval, go to

Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at

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