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CANtastic fundraiser at the Home & Garden Show

CANtastic features six teams
Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 05, 2024

GREAT FALLS — For about twenty years, the Great Falls Community Food Bank has hosted an ‘CANtastic’ fundraiser. This year, for the first time, the organization is conducting the fundraiser at the Great Falls Home & Garden Show at Montana ExpoPark.

This year, CANtastic features six teams who worked with an architect to create structures out of canned food. People are invited to purchase a vote for their favorite structure, with the team with the most votes being awarded the food bank’s People’s Choice Award.

All of the food used in the structure goes to the food bank for their Backpacks4Kids program, which feeds elementary school kids in the Great Falls community providing packs of food to take home during weekends and holidays.

CANtastic is the result of a larger fundraising effort that has been underway since January.

Shaun Tatarka, director of the Great Falls Community Food Bank, explained, “During the early months of the year, we go out and our staff and our board asks people for sponsorships for our Backpacks for Kids program. And so that drive culminates in CANtastic”. This effort includes inviting businesses to sponsor children for $150 per child to provide for the entire school year. Each entity sponsoring a child received a poster by a local sixth-grade artist and a mention at the art gallery at the Home and Garden Show.

One of the participating organizations is the Giant Springs Chapter of Credit Unions.

Becky Timmons, the Vice President of Marketing at Montana Credit Union, said, “We submitted a structure, it’s the couch from ‘Friends’, the TV show, and we had a lot of fun building that. It consists of about 1400 cans of chili and 300 taco seasoning packets. So, this is all donated by all of our local credit unions."

On being part of the fundraiser, Timmons says, “It’s always fun to see what each group comes up with and there’s so much creativity here, and just to see all these different groups coming together for a good cause for our food bank is awesome.”

The six teams who built a structure this year are:

  • Key Clubs from Great Falls and CMR schools
  • General Distributing
  • ADF Steel
  • Giant Springs Chapter Credit Unions
  • The Great Falls Association of Realtors

For more information about the Backpacks4Kids program, click here.