BOZEMAN — The 19th annual Can the Griz food drive, an off-field competition between Montana State University and the University of Montana to see which school can collect the most donations for its local county food bank, begins Saturday, Nov. 3.

The competition ends Nov. 17 at the end of the first quarter of the annual Brawl of the Wild football game between MSU and UM, which will be held this year in Missoula. The winner of the competition will be announced during the second half of the football game.

“All of the food collected at Can the Griz remains in the Gallatin Valley, and we’re proud that it is used to support our friends, neighbors, children and MSU students”, said Randi Maiers, community engagement program coordinator with the MSU Office of Student Engagement. “Every year, we beat the previous year’s collection record, and I’m continually in awe of the generosity of our community.”

Organizers of the drive ask that nonperishable food donations be taken to collection locations throughout Bozeman to support those in need in Gallatin County. A list of participating locations can be found at www.canthegriz.com/.

Bobcat supporters can designate their contribution to MSU by telling the Gallatin Valley Food Bank or collection location host that their donation is for the Can the Griz food drive.

Those wishing to donate are also invited to bring cans to the MSU football game on Nov. 3 versus Cal Poly and to the Nov. 10 football game versus Northern Colorado. Collection bins will be located at the Ressler and the XL Country tailgates. Donations will also be collected at the men’s basketball game on Nov. 6. Admission to that game will be only $5 with a donation to the food drive.

Monetary donations may be made directly to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank by visiting canthegriz.com/donate. Each dollar donated counts as 1 pound of food.

Can the Griz will have numerous food-raising events, and many area businesses – including grocery stories and breweries – will be collecting donations and running Can the Griz specials during the two-week competition. Visit canthegriz.com and click “events” to learn more.

Individuals who participate in the drive are invited to take a photo or video of themselves donating and post it on social media with the hashtag #canthegriz.

Maiers urged Can the Griz supporters to get their donations in to the food bank by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in order for them to count toward the competition.

Last year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated a record 257,336 pounds of food plus $131,757 to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. The University of Montana and Missoula community also raised a record amount for the Missoula community's local food bank and won last year’s competition. Donations from UM and the Missoula community totaled 255,070 pounds of food plus $139,008.

Can the Griz proceeds go to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank.

For more information, or to host a collection box, please contact the MSU Office of Student Engagement at 406-994-2933 or email canthegriz@montana.edu.

Can the Griz is coordinated by the MSU Office of Student Engagement and the Gallatin Valley Food Bank.