MISSOULA – Not all rivalries are settled on the football field. The University of Montana and Missoula are once again planning to outdo Montana State University and Bozeman during the 2021 edition of the Can the Cats food drive, which benefits area charities.
Now in its 22nd year, Can the Cats will run Nov. 6 until the Griz-Cat football game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Nov. 20. Campus groups are once again partnering with the Missoula Food Bank & Community Center and other community partners to deliver a Can the Cats victory.
“Last year, we canned the Bobcats by a whopping 267,525 pounds, and we hope to do it again this year,” said Hilary Rosa with the UM Food Pantry. “We have several opportunities planned for fun engagement before the big game, when the final donation totals will be announced during the first quarter.”
Can the Cats 2021 will kick off on Saturday, Nov. 6, when the Lady Griz Volleyball team squares off against the Idaho Vandals. The match starts at 2 p.m. in UM’s Adams Center, and admission is free with a donation of five cans of nonperishable food.
UM’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Involvement will conduct a contactless food drive in the University District. Residents there can expect flyers with more information during the first week of November. University neighbors are encouraged to leave donations in a visible place on their front porch to be collected between noon and 6 p.m. Nov. 7, 13 and 17.
Clearwater Credit Union and the Missoula Food Bank will host “Stuff the Truck” from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the food bank parking lot at 1720 Wyoming St. Organizers hope to stuff the truck with perishable and nonperishable donations.
Later that day, swing by the Adams Center and watch the Lady Griz basketball team take on Northwest Nazarene at 5 p.m. and then the Griz men’s basketball team will play Dickenson State at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to both games with a donation of six cans.
Griz eSports will appear at multiple locations from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13. Families can play with Griz eSports’ varsity players, learn about UM’s eSports program, watch the football game and engage with a display of local art dealing with the theme of food scarcity. More details will be posted online at https://www.instagram.com/umt_esports.
Mountain Line and WinCo foods will team up for another “Stuff the Bus” event from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 15-16. Stop by WinCo to shop and make a donation to help stuff the Mountain Line bus full of nonperishable food for Can the Cats.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM (MOLLI) will host a virtual pep rally in the University Center Theater from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Nov. 17. Join guest speaker Hal Stearns for a stimulating presentation on the history of the Griz-Cat rivalry. Attendees can make a contribution to Can the Cats for the chance to be recognized as MOLLI’s donation champion.
Student groups with the Associated Students of UM also will compete to see who can raise the most donations. Participating student groups will have collection tables set up in the University Center Atrium from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, so be sure to show up in support of your favorite student group.
The Griz-Cat rivalry will rev up in earnest when Griz eSports hosts a virtual Brawl of the Wild from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, in UM’s Innovation Factory and Gaming Den – both in the University Center – where UM’s varsity League of Legends and Super Smash Bros teams will compete against MSU’s. Viewers also may also tune into https://www.twitch.tv/grizzlyesportsum to watch the event live.
Those wishing to make cash donations to the Missoula Food Bank at any point during Can the Cats can do so at every Campus Dining location. All registers will be programmed to accept meal plan funds, flex dollars, Bear Bucks, UMoney, cash, credit and debit from anyone who wants to participate. People can also donate online at canthecats.com.
Additionally, donation bins will be located in all UM residence halls, the UC Game Room, the front entrance of Brantly Hall and other locations across campus and the Missoula community Nov. 6-19. Visit canthecats.com to find the bin nearest you.
All physical food collected on campus will be donated to the UM Food Pantry, and food collected in the greater Missoula community will be donated to Missoula Food Bank. Volunteers are needed to help promote Can the Cats, monitor bins and collect donations. Sign up online to help with Can the Cats.
The Griz-Cat “Brawl of the Wild” football game will be held at noon Saturday, Nov. 20, at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Donations will be collected at every entrance until kickoff, and final donation totals will be announced during the first quarter. Keep up to date on all Can the Cat activities at canthecats.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CantheCats/.
Contact: Hilary Rosa, UM Food Pantry, MTCC AmeriCorps VISTA worker, 406-243-5125, firstname.lastname@example.org; Carmen Thissen, events and marketing coordinator, Missoula Food Bank & Community Center, 406-541-0768, email@example.com.