Can the Griz collects more than 150,000lbs. of food for local families
from MSU News Service
Weeks of generous donations from Montana State University and the Bozeman community collected the equivalent of 403,183 pounds of food this holiday season for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank and MSU’s Bounty of the Bridgers food pantry as part of the 21st annual Can the Griz food drive.
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 food bank. This year, the University of Montana and Missoula community won the contest.
MSU and the Bozeman community donated 150,290 pounds of food and $252,893 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, according to Miranda Roy in the MSU Office of Student Engagement, which coordinates Can the Griz. Pounds and dollars are added together for the contest, resulting in a total of 403,183 pounds for the Bozeman community. The Can the Cats food drive in Missoula brought in the equivalent of 671,707 pounds of food for the Missoula Food Bank, Roy said.
Last year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated 206,550 pounds of food plus approximately $230,715 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, while donations from UM and the Missoula community totaled 213,412 pounds of food plus approximately $208,447.
Bozeman and the MSU community have won the competition 17 out of the 21 years it has been held.
“Although we didn’t pull off the win this year, we are still proud of the MSU and Bozeman communities and the work they did,” said Roy, who noted that the equivalent of more than 1 million pounds of food was donated for Bozeman and Missoula. “The money raised and food donated still does a tremendous amount of good for the families in need in the area, and we are grateful for their help and compassion.”
The donations from Can the Griz will help the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, as well as the Bounty of the Bridgers food pantry, provide food for families in the community through the spring and summer. The Gallatin Valley Food Bank is one of the HRDC Food and Nutrition Programs’ Initiatives. The Bounty of the Bridgers, housed in the Office of Health Advancement, is a student-driven initiative to combat food waste and food insecurity on the MSU campus for students, faculty and staff. •