For the second year in a row, Auburn’s Campus Food Pantry has won the Southeastern Conference, or SEC, Food Fight, an annual competition among SEC food pantries. The competition this year included 12 of the 14 SEC schools.
Through a partnership with the Beat Bama Food Drive, physical and monetary donations were collected from the campus and local communities helping Auburn earn 31,059 points in the competition.
The SEC Food Fight raised $27,728 and collected 3,331 physical items. Every $1 raised and every food or hygiene item donated was worth one point for the competition.
According to Beat Bama Food Drive President Paige Hall, over 1,000 food items were collected from the Auburn community through neighborhood drives, and money was raised through various fundraising opportunities, including restaurant benefit nights. Additionally, student organization presidents took a pie to their faces to help raise funds. Outside of Beat Bama Food Drive efforts, 330 Auburn Family members gave online towards the competition.
“Auburn winning the SEC Food Fight two years in a row proves that we are truly a family,” Auburn Cares coordinator Sarah Grace Kaschak said. “In a family, you help take care of each other, and that is exactly what Auburn continues to do by supporting students in need.”
The Campus Food Pantry’s move to a more centralized campus location in Lupton Hall earlier this year has provided much needed additional space. According to Kaschak, the new location has resulted in an increased number of users.
The funds raised from the competition go directly to buying items to stock the shelves of the Campus Food Pantry. While the money and items collected will be significant support, the Campus Food Pantry strives to provide students with well-balanced nutritious meals, so fresh produce and frozen foods are still needed.
According to Kaschak, donations are only one way to help. She encourages staff members to share what the Campus Food Pantry is to others, whether it be interested students or someone who wants to donate.
“The SEC Food Fight has allowed the Auburn Family to be aware of the resources that Auburn Cares provides to students on campus,” Hall said. “Being food insecure as a student can pose many challenges to learning and being successful in the classroom, and I am thrilled to see how many alumni and current students were willing to donate to help fight food insecurity on campus.”
The Campus Food Pantry will be open for students to utilize during the summer. For more information and updated hours, visit the Auburn Cares website.