Participate in Cans Around the Oval

Dates for Cans Around the Oval 2018:

CANS Kickoff Week: September 10th – 14th, SLiCE Lory Student Center Room 210, 8 am – 5 pm

CANvassing: September 10th – October 10th

CANStruction: October 10th, Lory Student Center Plaza, 10 am – 2 pm

CANS Collection Day: October 17th, CSU Oval, 10 am – 4 pm

Who Can Participate?

  • CSU student groups
  • CSU student individuals
  • Student Organizations
  • CSU Departments, Offices, & Colleges
  • Greek Organizations
  • Residence Life
  • Community Schools
  • Fort Collins Community Businesses/Non-profits
  • Faith-Based Community Organizations

Register Today!

Competition Guidelines

The Cans Competition – Do we have to compete to be a part of Cans?

You do not have to enter a competition in order to participate in Cans Around the Oval!  If you simply wish to provide donations, you may do so at any time during the event.  We would appreciate it if you would still register, so you can be properly thanked for your participation.  You can drop off monetary and food donations at the SLiCE office throughout the event, or bring them all to the Oval any time during Collection Day.

The competition is based on the total impact of monetary and food donations combined.

The following formula will be used to determine a group’s total impact:
  • $1 in cash = 5lbs of food
  • 1lb of food = 1lb of food
  • Coins must be converted to bills to count in the competition
  • FYI: the “every $1 donated = $5 of food” equation found on CANS marketing materials indicates how much further the Food Bank can stretch your $1 donation. Yet, your $1 donation still only equates to 5$ of food for the purposes of the competition.
  • For all donations to be counted for the competition they need to be received on Collection Day – Wednesday October 17th by 4pm.
  • Highly needed items include:
    • Brown Rice
    • Canned meat/fish (chicken, salmon, tuna)
    • Canned Fruit in Fruit Juice
    • Macaroni and Cheese
    • Peanut Butter (non-hydrogenated oil)
    • Whole Grain, Low Sugar Cereal
    • Whole Grain Pasta


Each participating group is invited to challenge other groups within the contest.  Featured contests in the past have pitted ASCSU vs. CSU Administration, Liberal Arts College vs. the School of Business, various residence hall floors vs. another, and even mini-challenges within groups.  Anyone can challenge anyone else!  Because they are in the spirit of service, these competitions are friendly.  If you want to challenge another group, keep it clean!  When you Register, you will be asked if you’d like to challenge another group; don’t hesitate, it’s a great time!

Collecting Donations

How to CANvass

Spend a couple of hours as a group, going door-to-door to collect donated food items in neighborhoods.

  • Reserving Neighborhood(s): starts in CANS Kickoff Week. This reservation process prevents neighborhoods from being canvassed twice and will increase your success.
    • CANvassing materials (maps, handouts, posters, and boxes) can be collected from SLiCE Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm in LSC 210
  • Prepare CANvassing Materials:
    • Make sure to indicate on the handout the date and time when group members will return to collect the items, ideally several days later.
    • To be sustainable, plastic bags are no longer provided, bring your own boxes and/or reusable bags when collecting items from neighbors.
  • While CANvassing in Reserved Neighborhood:
    • Use the canvassing handout to verify affiliation with Cans Around the Oval.
    • Wear clothing/buttons identifying you with CSU and/or Cans Around the Oval.
    • If the neighbor is home, introduce yourself, explain CANS, share the handout, and let them know of the date/time when group members will return to collect donations.
    • If the neighbor is NOT home, tie the canvassing handout with a rubber band to the door knob.
    • Be sure to return on the day/time shared with neighbors and collect their donations.

We Provide:

  • Boxes to store donations
  • Handouts to place at neighbors homes
  • Posters for advertising
  • Canvassing tips and strategies
  • Awareness opportunities and events

How to generate monetary donations

  • Find a business to sponsor your drive, either by matching all donations that your drive brings in, or by providing a one time donation of cans or cash.
  • Host fundraising events like penny/coins wars, car washes, etc.
  • Simply give some cash by stopping by the SLiCE office anytime before Collection Day.
  • Go to to make online donations.
  • Utilize social media and share SLiCE posts

There are so many creative ways to collect donations, these are merely suggestions.  Do what you can to make the most of your drive and do it your way!

Canvassing Do’s and Dont’s


  • Bring something to haul donations in if you can, i.e. a wagon, cart or other such wheeled equipment.
  • Be polite and respectful even if people you meet are not interested in contributing.
  • If you canvass in front of a grocery store, check in with the manager on duty, ask them how they’d like you to set up, and make sure to bring plenty of boxes or collection bins.
  • Make sure checks are made payable to Food Bank for Larimer County, with Cans, or Cans Around the Oval, written in the “memo” section of the check.


  • Leave bags and/or fliers in or around mailboxes.  This is very illegal.
  • Be disrespectful to neighbors if you are having a hard time canvassing.  Understand that some folks give regularly to the Food Bank, some simply have other concerns at the time you approach them, and still others are clients of the Food Bank.
  • Fail to canvass your territory without notifying SLiCE.  The territories are limited and many groups have to wait to get one.
  • Canvass unless you have signed up for a territory; same for grocery stores.  Groups must sign up for storefront canvassing at EVERY grocery store in the area.
  • Accept open food containers.
  • Accept personal checks written out to you or your group, only accept them if they are to the Food Bank.  This is also very illegal and you will be held criminally accountable.


CANStruction is a competition organized to raise food for Cans Around the Oval and raise awareness about food access and for the Food Bank for Larimer County.

Registered groups design and build a structure out of nonperishable food items to raise awareness about hunger.  For example, a group CANStructed a dog bone out of food with the theme “Take a bite out of hunger.” 

CANStruction will be held on the LSC Plaza – October 10th from 10am-2pm.