Montana State University and the Bozeman community rallied for a big win in the 15th annual Can the Griz food drive, with supporters donating a record of more than 171,000 pounds of food and more than $74,000 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank.
Can the Griz and the corresponding Can the Cats food drive in Missoula is an off-field competition between MSU and the University of Montana to see which school can collect the most donations for its local county food bank.
This year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated 171,554 pounds of food and $74,636 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, according to Kathy Tanner of the MSU Office of Activities and Engagement, which coordinates Can the Griz. The Can the Cats food drive in Missoula brought in 121,609 pounds of food and $78,272.49 for the Missoula Food Bank, Tanner said. She added that both communities surpassed last year’s totals, which were also record amounts: Last year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated 100,939 pounds of food plus approximately $47,500 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, while donations from UM and the Missoula community in 2013 totaled 56,498 pounds of food plus nearly $61,000.
Bozeman and the MSU community have won the competition for 14 out of the 15 years it has been held, Tanner said.
“This annual food drive is one tremendous opportunity for Montana State University and the University of Montana to use our long-running football team rivalry to benefit others. It’s a privilege to collaborate with our area food banks and to engage so many on and off campus Bobcat and Grizzly fans in such a fun, yet very meaningful activity,” Tanner said.
Tim Trzinski, director of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, said the food drive will help provide Thanksgiving food boxes to approximately 1,600 households – or between 6,000 and 6,500 people – in the Gallatin Valley, including people served by the food bank’s main office in Bozeman as well as satellite offices in Three Forks and Big Sky.
Some of the donations will carry over and be used after Thanksgiving, he added.
Trzinski called the generosity of the community tremendous.
“Everyone coming together is what makes this happen,” he said. “We’d like to share our most sincere thanks for what the community helps us do. We at the food bank are so very appreciative, as always.”
Contact: Kathy Tanner, MSU Office of Activities and Engagement, (406) 994-6872 or firstname.lastname@example.org