It’s the 25th year that Cans Around the Oval, Colorado State University and S.L.I.C.E (CSU Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement)has helped to raise money, food and awareness for hungry humans. The event is a coming together of CSU students and faculty, the Food Bank for Larimer County and Fort Collins and surrounding communities.

Last year Cans Around the Oval raised $39,600 and 66,800 pounds of food for the Food Bank for Larimer County. The focus is shifting slightly from collecting non-perishable food items to raising money. The reason is simple–the Food Bank for Larimer County has special deals with their distributors which allows them to purchase more food for their dollar than can the average citizen. Since they are who they are, they can spend one dollar like it is ten, or even more.

Publicity for the event has traditionally come from the spectacle that earned it its name. At the end of the effort, all the food that was collected is stacked around the Oval on the CSU campus. It makes for great photos, and they’ll have plenty of it to make for press ops and the annual CANstruction event at the plaza at Lory Student Center, but the community as a whole benefits more from checks and cash.

Food drives in the past were often a reason for people to clean out their cabinets to find things that weren’t going to be used and donate them. If that sounds tedious (because it is), simply donate cash or checks. Find donation information here.

I spoke with Brett Rundle, Program Coordinator with S.L.I.C.E about the 25th anniversary of Cans Around the Oval and he related how

They’re (the Food Bank) are able to do so much more with a dollar that’s donated to them than you or I could if we just went down to the local grocery store. So, they really appreciate and are able to use that money that’s donated in a really incredible way.

Cans Around the Oval Important Dates

  • Canstruction – 10/6/11: Build a creative structure out of canned food items on the LSC Plaza from 10am-2pm (To register, email Kayla Jensen)
  • Collection Day – 10/12/11: Bring your food and money donations to the CSU Oval
  • Hunger Banquet – 10/20/11: Take part in an event that truly brings to life the food inequities across the planet. Tickets are available in the Palmer Center, SLiCE office, and online at