Cans Around the Oval












Totals from Cans Around the Oval 2014

Thank you to everyone who helped make Cans Around the Oval 2014 a great success! With your help we were able to raise 47,470lbs of food and $46,743 for a total impact of 234,444lbs donated!  To see contest winners from this year, please click here

Register for Cans Around the Oval Here

Cans Around the Oval is a Colorado State University tradition, where students, faculty, and staff partner with community members, local media, and area businesses to raise awareness about the facts surrounding the issue of hunger, as well as raise food and monetary donations. This event is Larimer County's largest single-day food drive. Watch this video for an in depth perspective of the amazing impact of Cans Around the Oval.

You can register your group to participate any time between early September and 10/22. We need your help in reaching our goal this year for the Food Bank for Larimer County!  

Important Dates for Cans Around the Oval 2014:

  • Supply Distribution Day: September 11th,  9am-4pm (LSC North Ballroom)
  • Spoons donates 5% of Sales at LSC Location, October 1, All Day
  • Spike Hunger:  October 2nd, 7:00 p.m.  (Moby Arena)
  • CANstruction: October 15th, 10:00 am-2:00pm (Plaza)
  • Cans Around the Oval Collection Day: October 22nd, 10am-4pm (The Oval)

Cans Around the Oval 2014 will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 on the CSU Oval from 10am-4pm. Registered groups are encouraged to drop off food and monetary donations at the following times:

  • 10am-Noon: Student Organizations
  • Noon-2pm: Greek Life and Residence Life
  • 2pm-4pm: CSU Colleges, Departments and Offices and Community Participants

Things to consider about collecting for Cans Around the Oval:

  • High need items include (extra pounds will NOT be awarded for these):  Tuna, Peanut Butter, Whole Grain Cereal, Canned Fruit (not in heavy syrup)
  • Glass containers are discouraged because they break in transport
  • $1 = 4 pounds of food

To see how we did for Cans Around the Oval 2014, check out our Contest Updates and Results page.

Understanding Hunger

Fighting Hunger - Activism in action

For more information on hunger, poverty and what work is being done here and around the globe, please visit our Hunger Awareness Links page.

With its variety  of programs, the Food Bank for Larimer County fights hunger in our own community every day.  By joining the cans team through donating cans, collecting canned food, or even contributing what you can financially, you are making a difference in the lives of thousands of Larimer County residents.

The Food Bank for Larimer County distributed over 7.5 Million pounds of food to Larimer County residents alone in 2009.  For a better understanding how hunger affects us locally, please check out the Food Bank's Hunger Facts.

History of Cans

In 1986, a senior CSU PR student, interviewed Sandy Bowden, the founder and first Director of the Food Bank for Larimer County as part of a class assignment. In the interview, Sandy spun the idea of circling the Oval with canned food as a way to promote a campus food drive.  In her paper, the student coined the name "Cans Around the Oval."


At the time of her graduation, the student handed the paper over to the ASCSU Community Services Office.  The Director read her short paper and agreed that it was a great idea.  CSU contacted the Food Bank and they decided to partner on the project. The first year, Fall of 1987, the event raised only enough food to circle the Oval one time by placing the cans about 1 foot apart!  Over the years, as the event grew, more and more cans were collected and the oval was circled with cans 3-4 times. 

Since that time, Cans has grown in scope and impact, involving more groups and collecting more food each year. The Office for Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) now sponsors Cans Around the Oval. In 2011, over 130 unique groups were involved and the 60,300 pounds of food could circle the oval over 30 times. Additionally, the $34,000 donated was the second largest amount of money donated in the history of the program!

For a longer history, Click Here.


Jenn Rieskamp
Program Coordinator

210 Lory Student Center
8033 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523

phone: (970) 491-5488
fax: (970) 491-2826

Monday through Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm