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Can the Cats Food Drive Kicks Off Nov. 6

The University of Montana’s "Can the Cats" food drive competition against Montana State University-Bozeman begins Saturday, Nov. 6. UM’s annual competition to collect more canned food than MSU benefits the Missoula Food Bank.

The competition will run through Saturday, Nov. 20, when the winner will be announced at the Griz vs. Cats Brawl of the Wild football game. Food collected before Nov. 6 will not be counted for the competition.

This year’s competition has two new sponsors, Karl Tyler Chevrolet and the Governor’s Office of Community Service. Karl Tyler Chevrolet trucks and UM volunteers will collect canned food at the gates of Washington-Grizzly Stadium during the home games Nov. 13 and Nov. 20.

Designated canned food boxes for "Can the Cats" will be located on campus in UM residence halls, at The Source in the University Center and at the Office for Civic Engagement, located in Davidson Honors College Room 015.

Collection boxes also will be available at the Good Food Store, Karl Tyler Chevrolet, Orange Street Food Farm, the YMCA, Worden’s Market and the Swift Building in Missoula.

Competition canned food contributions can be made directly to the Missoula Food Bank during the collection period, but donors must specify that their donations are for "Can the Cats."

Missoula Food Bank Development Director Nick Roberts said that this annual partnership already presents an important food collection effort, as it leverages thousands of pounds of food each year. But he believes this year’s momentum points toward a record-breaking benchmark for the project.

"At a time when our food bank programs combine to serve approximately 5,000 clients each month, the impact of this project is substantial," Roberts said. "I have a gut feeling that we will collect a record-breaking amount of food from this year’s effort, as we have established several new drop-off locations and have found exciting additional sponsorship. We are thankful for the diverse showing of local community support that makes this project fun and feeding people accessible."

The annual "Can the Cats" event is coordinated by UM’s Office for Civic Engagement. For more information or to volunteer, call Katie Koga at 406-243-5531 or e-mail katie.koga@mso.umt.edu.