BOZEMAN - It's a tradition that is taking on a new twist as a growing partnership between Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley Food Bank aims to beat the City of Missoula in this year's Can the Griz food drive.
“It's 22 years, we've only lost 4 times," said Laura Stoneciper, Program Manager at Gallatin Valley Food Bank. "They pounded us last year, we have never lost two years in a row so were really hopeful that we can triumph this year."
This year a partnership between the City of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley Food Bank hopes to encourage the community to bring cans and get a reduction for non-safety parking tickets.
“It's an exciting option for the community if you have those non-safety violation parking tickets in the applicable areas,” says Stoneciper.
That's $2 off for every can or half of the ticket if you bring in 5 cans.
“ We are seeing a good stream of people coming in, we think it's a good way for us to participate and be more active in the community and we would love to see this program grow,” says Mike Veselik, Economic Development Program Manager, Parking for Bozeman.
“It's been pretty exciting, we usually start off slow and chug along so were building some momentum,” says Stoneciper.
As Can the Griz gears up, so does preparation for the holiday season at the food bank.
“Each year it has had a huge impact on what we provide for thanksgiving boxes for the community,” says Stoneciper.
As the end of the drive approaches the competition between Montana State and the University of Montana gets even tighter.
“We're just trying to get the word out so that as many people know about it as possible and can participate in the program. It's a win for us, it's a win for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and it's a win for the food insecure,” says Veselik.
The last day to donate cans is Nov. 19th. Gallatin Valley Food Bank is always looking for donations and volunteers, if you would like more information you can visit their website below.