MISSOULA - Bear Necessities at the University of Montana supports students with needs for food and other resources.
This week they're hosting a little friendly competition with Montana State in the form of a food drive.
Can the Cats is an annual community-wide canned food drive that happens in Missoula and Bozeman prior to the Griz-Cats football game.
During last year’s Can the Cats drive, Missoula raised just under 600,000 pounds of food.
The food collected for Can the Cats supplies the UM food bank with donations until mid-summer, according to Bear Necessities director Kat Cowley.
Last year, Montana State won this food drive, called Can the Griz in Bozeman. But UM hopes to beat MSU this year, with a goal to collect 450,000 pounds of food.
While Crowley says the competition is a great way to encourage donations, the drive is less about who wins and more about feeding people in need.
"What's really fun is this friendly competition picks up on the fuel from that huge rivalry football game and pushes us in kind of a more charitable direction,” Crowley said.
“The awesome thing about Can the Cats and Can the Griz is everybody wins, because everybody has more opportunities to get some food and other things they need,” Crowley continued.
This year’s bounty will be announced right after the first quarter during the game on Nov. 19. All of the food donated to Missoula will be given to community members -- specifically UM students.
Additional information about the Can the Cats competition can be found here.