MADISON, Wis.– More than 1,000 Dane County families will receive a warm Thanksgiving meal this year thanks to the support of Badgers fans and the work of our student-athletes.
UW Athletics annual Red White Hunger Fight brought in more than 2,000 pounds of food during a month-long campaign that culminated on Monday. Started in 2007 by former UW women’s soccer player Michelle Dalton, the effort has provided thousands of Thanksgiving meals to Dane County families since its inception. This year, UW Athletics was proud to partner with the Community Action Coalition and the Goodman Community Center to increase the number of Thanksgiving meals provided to our community.
“The services that the Goodman Center and the Community Action Coalition provide are transformative for many area families,” said Kayla Gross, UW Athletics community relations coordinator. “We are deeply appreciative of the services they provide area families year-round and for their partnership with our effort. We couldn’t do it without them.”
To kick start the food drive, donation bins were first placed in all UW-Madison student-athlete locker rooms. A competition between the teams to determine who donated the most food resulted in women’s rowing coming away with the win. Elsewhere, a donation bin was also placed at Camp Randall Stadium for public donations, and a weeklong tagging-and-bagging run was implemented around districts in Dane County to encourage community contribution to the drive.
The campaign culminated on Thursday, November 20th, at the “Bring In Goods (BIG) Day,” where more than 30 student-athletes volunteered their time to help unpack, sort, organize and box the unperishable food donations gathered from the drive. The food was then given to Community Action Coalition, who distributes the goods to food pantries throughout the community. A portion of donations were also provided to the Goodman Community Center, who provide Thanksgiving Day baskets to low-income families the weekend of November 22nd. Many student-athletes also volunteered their time at this 3-day event, making personal connections with local families as they handed out food baskets.
“The support we received from the Madison community was outstanding during the Red White Hunger Fight,” said senior women’s rower Kate Moy. “Every house that we talked to was so willing to donate what they could and happy to participate and, to me, that means the world. This community is truly fantastic and really stepped up. I am so proud to belong to such a giving community with such a great heart.”
Thank you, Badgers. Happy Thanksgiving!