MISSOULA – The 15th annual Can the Bobcats Food Drive, an off-field competition between the University of Montana and Montana State University to see which school can collect the most donations for their local county food banks, begins Saturday, Nov. 8.
The competition ends on Nov. 22 at halftime of the Brawl of the Wild football game between UM and MSU, which will be held in UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The winner of the competition will be announced during halftime.
“In 2013 we nearly doubled what we brought in for 2012 with 54,656 pounds of food and more than $60,000 in cash resources for Missoula Food Bank,” said Julie Bryant, UM organizer for the drive. “Despite our accomplishments, Bozeman pulled out the win yet again as they received more than 40,000 pounds in food on game day alone. With their big end-of-drive surge, we found ourselves coming up short again.”
People are encouraged to donate heavy food items such as potatoes, rice, beans, peanut butter, flour and canned vegetables, fruit and tuna. Monetary donations also are accepted and will be converted to pounds on a $1.60 per pound of food ratio.
Organizers of the drive ask nonperishable food donations be taken to collection locations throughout Missoula to support those in need in Missoula County. A list of participating drop-off locations can be found at http://canthebobcats.com/drop-off-locations/. Additional campus drop-off locations are The Source and The Food Court in the University Center, and The Corner Store in the Lommasson Center.
Griz supporters can make monetary contributions at any Missoula Federal Credit Union location or directly to the Missoula Food Bank with an online donation at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/missoulafoodbank, with the donation dedicated to the Can the Bobcats Food Drive. Any UM Dining venue also will accept monetary contributions and UM students can donate up to $13 per week from their meal plan to support the cause.
“We are so impressed with the Missoula community in how many pounds of food were donated in 2013,” Missoula Food Bank community relations director Jessica Allred said. “The numbers are phenomenal considering just five years ago the drive collected a combined donation of just 13,403 pounds.”
An average of 900,000 pounds of food is donated to Missoula Food Bank each year, helping to feed approximately 6,000 people each month.
For more information, to host a collection box or to learn about sponsorship opportunities visit http://canthebobcats.com/drop-off-locations/.
Can the Bobcats is coordinated by UM’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Involvement. For more information about UM’s efforts call Bryant at 406-243-5527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.