MISSOULA – The University of Montana has a lot of ground to make up between now and Friday, Nov. 20, when the donations are weighed for the Can the Bobcats Food Drive. The off-field competition between UM and Montana State University is held annually to see which community can collect the most donations for their local county food banks.
The competition ends on Saturday, Nov. 21, when the winner will be announced during halftime of the Brawl of the Wild football game between UM and MSU.
“Currently we have collected about 80,000 pounds,” said Missoula Food Bank Community Relations Director Jessica Allred. “To be competitive with MSU, our goal is to gather about 200,000 pounds.”
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 per pound of food ratio. New this year, donors can text “NOURISH” to 52000 to donate $5 or to 91011 to donate an amount of their choosing. They also can contribute 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.
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 in the University Center and The Corner Store in the Lommasson Center.
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,” Allred said. “Last year we were able to collect 121,609 pounds of food. This drive really helps us offer variety to our clients, which fulfills our mission as a choice-model pantry.”
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 call Allred at 406-549-0543 ext. 103 or email email@example.com.