(MSU News Service article)
BOZEMAN — Weeks of substantial donations from Montana State University and the Gallatin Valley communities collected the equivalent of 654,126 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 22nd 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, MSU and the Bozeman community won the contest.
MSU and the Bozeman community donated 204,469 pounds of food and $449,657, according to Kim Cleary 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 654,126 pounds for the Bozeman community. The Can the Cats food drive in Missoula brought in the equivalent of 583,009 pounds of food for the Missoula Food Bank, Cleary said.
Last year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated 150,290 pounds of food plus approximately $252,893 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 18 out of the 22 years it has been held.
“We are thrilled that MSU and the Gallatin Valley communities came out on top this year and are back to our winning ways,” Cleary said. “At the end of the day, both the Bozeman and Missoula communities win, as the food donated and money raised does an incredible amount of good for the families in need. We are proud of our Bozeman and MSU communities and appreciative of their help and kindness.”
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.