This year marks the 15th year that MSU has participated in Can the Griz, an annual competition between MSU and the University of Montana (UM) that determines which community can collect the most donations for their local food bank. This year the competition’s slogan is, “Help us Can the Griz, Again!”
In 2013, MSU defeated UM by raising a record 100,937 pounds of food and approximately $46,445.38 for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Laurynn Olson, program director for the Office of Activities and Engagement, said that Can the Griz’s goal this year is to raise $100,000 and 100,000 pounds of food.
Local businesses, along with businesses from as far away as Great Falls and Whitefish, have joined to help with Can the Griz. Olson is happy with the support provided for Can the Griz but added that the Bozeman community can always improve their efforts to help the local food bank.
Each month the Gallatin Valley Food Bank serves an average of 1,205 households in the cities of Bozeman and Belgrade. Last year the food bank distributed nearly two million pounds of food to families. Olson said that if every member of the Bozeman community could donate at least one can to Can the Griz, it would go a long ways towards helping the food bank feed those in need.
Can the Griz concludes on the day of the Cat/Griz football game, Nov. 22., where the winner of the competition will be announced. For many involved, Can the Griz is a matter of school pride. Olson said that Missoula is stepping up their efforts to beat MSU this year, a possible outcome she acknowledged. However, she was also happy to point out that since the competition began “we’ve [MSU] won 13 out of 14 times.”
Collection sites for donations to Can the Griz can be found in grocery stores and other businesses in Bozeman and Belgrade, including Albertsons, Town and Country and Safeway. Additionally, anyone can donate money via credit or debit card by texting the word CAN to the number 41444.