Gallatin Valley Food Bank

The Gallatin Valley Food Bank collects donations for "Can the Griz" food drive on Tuesday Nov. 16. 

It’s that time of year again: Cat-Griz season. And fans are eager to prove their school is the best in more ways than one. That competitive spirit is on clear display in the annual Can the Griz food drive.

The drive, now entering its 23rd year, encourages students and community members to bring non-perishable (canned) food items to on and off-campus donation sites from Nov. 5-19. All proceeds go to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and benefits will go to the Bounty of the Bridgers campus food pantry.

“The Gallatin Valley Food Bank gets over half of its annual budget and food supply in these two weeks, every year,” said Community Engagement Program Manager Kim Cleary. “Last year, we raised almost 1.2 million [dollars] and pounds of food in two weeks between Bozeman and Missoula.”

MSU and the Bozeman community donated 192,816 pounds of food and $449, 657.66 to the food bank last year, while the University of Montana and Missoula donated 583,010.25 pounds of food and money added together, according to the Can the Griz website.

Don’t let the Grizzlies get you down, raid your pantry for canned goods you probably meant to use but haven’t.

Can the Griz also benefits the Bounty of the Bridgers food pantry. “All of the food collected on campus, all of the money collected on campus this year is going directly to the [Bounty of the Bridgers],” said Cleary.

The Gallatin Valley Food Bank also takes monetary donations. If you’re willing to do so, make sure to specify to the donation host that your donation is for the Can the Griz food drive.

If you can’t afford to donate, or you don’t have food available, you can always volunteer your time.

“We still have a ton of volunteer food drives at the grocery stores, there are some opportunities at the Cat-Griz game to get out there and help spread the word and encourage people to donate,” Cleary said. “This is an opportunity for all of Montana to show their giving spirit and pull together. At the end of the day, everybody’s a winner.”

Common on-campus donation sites are in the SUB at the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success, the Office of Student Engagement (OSE), and the Dean of Students Office. You can also drop off donations in the lobby of Renne Library, the front desk in the North Dome and the Outdoor Recreation Center.

Do you have library fines that you need to pay off? Donations can also be exchanged for fine relief. Bring in 2 food items for $5 and four items for $10 off your bill. Keep in mind, you’re limited by $10 per day in fine relief. See the library newsletter posters for more information.

To learn more about the Can the Griz food drive or to view more donation sites, visit http://www.canthegriz.com/ or stop by the OSE in the SUB. The winner of the food drive will be announced at the Brawl of the Wild football game here in Bozeman on Saturday, Nov. 19.