Inaugural CAA Food Drive Donates Over 9,500 Pounds Of Food

RICHMOND, VA (April, 4 2013) – The inaugural Colonial Athletic Association Food Drive Challenge was a big success as 9,570 pounds of food was donated throughout the various campus communities. In addition to the donated food, CAA schools provided local food banks with $2,676.69 to assist with operating funds and other expenses.

Institutions partnered with local food bank organizations and designated one day during the spring term to collect nonperishable foods and funds, with monetary donations being converted into pounds at a consistent rate for competition purposes. The top producing institution in this year’s inaugural CAA Food Drive Challenge was Drexel University, collecting 3,324 pounds of food and raising $647.45 to donate to the local food bank during their food drive that took place on February 21, 2013.

“The CAA food drive is an important step in raising awareness among college students about the increasing issues of hunger in our communities,” said Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel University Athletic Director.  “Our student-athletes quickly embraced this volunteer effort and I congratulate them for their impressive organizational effort in addressing this growing problem.”

Drexel University teamed with Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, to organize the food drive at different sites on campus as well as a women’s basketball game scheduled on the day of the drive. The combined effort yielded huge results that will benefit the community greatly.

“Philabundance is so thankful to the Drexel University community for rallying together and raising an incredible amount of food and funds in a matter of 24 hours for the CAA Food Drive Challenge,” said Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance. “Because of their diligent effort in the fight against hunger, Philabundance is able to provide more than 4,600 meals to people in need right here in the Delaware Valley.”

Plans for the CAA Food Challenge were developed during the CAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Leadership Summit last November. The student-athletes wanted to adopt a new community service initiative to participate in as a conference. This community service initiative provides an opportunity for student-athletes to build unity across sports on campus as well directly address the need for donated food in their communities in an effort to stop hunger.

Garth Mahosky, SAAC President at Drexel University, embraced the opportunity for the entire university to participate. “One of our major goals for SAAC is for student-athletes to engage in their university’s community and the food drive was a great opportunity for us to give back to the Greater Philadelphia area,” said Garth Mahosky. “We are very proud not only of the effort that our student-athletes put forth, but also the effort put in by the university and local community.”

The University of Delaware finished second with a total of 2,210 pounds of non-perishable foods collected while William & Mary placed third gathering 1,819 pounds of non-perishable food in addition to raising $210.

“Congratulations to all of the SAAC groups around the conference for making the inaugural CAA Food Drive Challenge a big success,” CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. “Your efforts will have a tremendous impact on the fight against hunger. I look forward to seeing the project become even better in future years.”

Commissioner Yeager will present a trophy to Drexel University and Philabundance representatives at the University’s annual awards banquet in May.

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