CanStruction Competition at Colorado State University to Help Food Bank

Colorado State University is hosting the 21st annual Cans Around the Oval on Oct. 17 sponsored by the Student Leadership Involvement and Community Engagement, or SLICE, and the Food Bank for Larimer County. Cans Around the Oval is held in conjunction with Hunger Action Month. Part of Cans Around the Oval includes CanStruction competition between students, staff and organizations as a way to raise money and food for families in Northern Colorado.

Each group will build a structure made solely out of donated cans from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, in the Morgan Library parking lot after the Homecoming Parade.

Campus and community members may show their support after the Homecoming Parade by voting for their favorite can-structure through donations. For every dollar donated, the Food Bank for Larimer County purchases $10 worth of food for their programs. The can-structure with the most money at the end of the event wins. The winner receives extra points toward the can-raising competition between on-campus groups. In addition, a panel of judges will evaluate each can-structure.

During the week of Oct. 13-17, students will be able to watch as The Neenan Co., a local design and construction company, builds a giant can-structure in the Morgan Library plaza.

"It is going to be a personification of the ripple effect. They’re going to make a giant footprint and make it hollow so you can stand in it. The cans around the footprint represent the waves created when someone demonstrates their care and concern for the community by participating events such as Cans," said Keith Colton, volunteer and special events coordinator at SLICE.

The structure will use an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 cans. The cans will be donated from a portion of each group participating in the CanStruction competition as well as from The Neenan Company.

Last year, Cans Around the Oval collected 127,000 pounds of nonperishable food items. This year’s goal is to raise 150,000 pounds of food, which would set a new record for Colorado State. For the past 20 years, food donated from Cans Around the Oval has been used by the Food Bank for Larimer County to provide assistance to families in Larimer County.

The number of people served through the Food Sharing Program, one of three programs at the food bank, has been increasing steadily. In September 2006, 7,192 people were fed through this program. In September 2007, 8,523 people were fed. This year was the highest number of people fed through the Food Share Program, with 10,548 people fed in September 2008. Amy Pezzani, executive director of the Food Bank for Larimer County, anticipated a greater need for donations this year.

For more information about Cans Around the Oval or to get involved, visit the SLICE Web site at, call Keith Colton at (970) 491-1682 or e-mail at For more information about the Food Bank for Larimer County, visit, call Amy Pezzani at (970) 493-4477 or e-mail at