Colorado State University’s Cans Around the Oval Food Drive Strives to Break World Record in 21st Year

Throughout this week, Colorado State University’s Cans Around the Oval and its partner, Neenan Archistruction, will participate in a record-breaking undertaking, striving to build the largest structure ever made of canned goods.

The design Neenan has created calls for about 50,000 individual canned goods to unofficially break the Guinness Book of World Records mark of 45,557 cans set in July 2008 in Rothbury, Mich. The design will resemble a footprint in a puddle with ripples spreading out from the center of the structure – a design symbolizing the footprint the community makes with Cans Around the Oval and the many positive ripple effects it has throughout Larimer County.

The construction began on Oct.13 on the Colorado State plaza and will be complete on Friday, Oct. 17, to coincide with the conclusion of the Cans Around the Oval food drive.

Cans Around the Oval, the largest food drive in Northern Colorado, is a 21-year tradition at Colorado State. Last year, 127,000 pounds of food was collected for the more than 40,000 people who depend on the Food Bank for Larimer County.

The four-week food drive began on Sept. 17 and concludes with Cans Around the Oval collection day Oct. 17, when all donated food will be weighed. The event kicks off when the university’s historic Oval is lined with all collected canned food, a tradition that visually demonstrates the community’s generosity.

"Cans Around the Oval is a true example of collaboration between CSU and the greater Fort Collins community to achieve something positive for Larimer County," said Jen Johnson, assistant director for CSU’s Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement, or SLiCE, the sponsoring office of the food drive. "Every year people exceed my expectations of generosity and kindness."

The food collected at various locations and by volunteer groups will be brought to the site by volunteers throughout the day. The weight of food gathered by each group’s food drive efforts will be calculated and tallied on the Oval; various student and community groups compete for the most food gathered.

"Cans Around the Oval is a community building event.  It is also an opportunity to focus on hunger," said Pam Sampson, SLiCE Director.  "Challenging the campus community, neighbors and children to civically engage and support this event is extremely rewarding. It is amazing to experience the gift of giving and the critical lesson of taking care of our community."

To learn more about the Food Bank for Larimer County, visit the Web at To learn more about SLiCE, visit

For more information about Cans Around the Oval, contact Jake Blumberg at (970) 491-4240 or (719) 651-8544 the day of the event.