"Brawl of the Wild" food drive underway

Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Participating Stillwater schools have engaged in some serious competition this week — a localized version of the statewide ‘Cat-Griz Food Drive.

All week, students have been bringing food to place in either Montana State University or University of Montana collection boxes.

Whichever boxes have the most donations by Friday will be declared the winner.

Stillwater is well-established ‘Cat country, with MSU Bobcat fans winning the local contest for the sixth consecutive year.

For the past 20 years, Bozeman and Missoula communities have been challenging each other in what is called either the “Can the Griz” or “Can the Cats” food drive leading up to the yearly battle of the teams on the football field.

The game is in Bozeman this year, with the announcement of the winner being made at the end of the first quarter.

Last year, MSU and the Bozeman community donated a record 263,263 pounds of food, plus $185,457, all of which went to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. UM and Missoula community also raised a record amount for their community’s food bank — 210,714 pounds of food plus $193,086.


As in the statewide contest, the true winners of this friendly annual competition are the people that Project Hope serves.

Last year, the school contests generated an estimated 2,700 pounds of food, with 90 Thanksgiving boxes being distributed, said Project Hope Executive Director Lara Strickland.

Strickland said this week she is anticipating the same numbers this year.

Specific needs include the following items: canned fruit (Mandarin oranges, pineapple), Jell-O, chicken broth, cranberry sauce, olives, butter, frozen corn (1 pound bags), turkeys, hams, turkey stuffing and turkey gravy.

A list of everyday needs includes canned vegetables, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, canned chili, soup, pasta, rice, cereal, pancake mix, crackers and toilet paper.


The Bobcats are looking to extend MSU’s winning streak to four-straight wins against the Grizzlies.

UM currently sits in a 3-way tie for first in the Big Sky Conference, with a 6-1 conference record and a 9-2 overall. MSU is just one slot down with a 5-2 conference record and an 8-3 overall record.