EL PASO, TX — UTEP collected more than 27,000 pounds of food during the “Let’s SAAC Hunger” program, the Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s conference-wide community service initiative. The Miners won the 2013 C-USA “Let’s SAAC Hunger” title
by collecting the most food by weight.
Each C-USA school worked within their respective communities to conduct a campus-wide canned food drive for one week during the fall semester. This year, C-USA also partnered with YouGiveGoods, a for-profit company that facilitates online food drives. This partnership allowed C-USA student-athletes to reach a much larger audience. All student groups and alumni were encouraged to participate. Each institution selected a local food bank to receive their donations. UTEP’s contributions went to El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.
“We are grateful for the chance to be community leaders and service those in need,” said Mandy Pulido, UTEP Athletics SAAC Advisor. “The SAAC hunger food drive is a great way to promote school spirit and unity within C-USA.”
More than 44 tons of food totaling a C-USA “Let’s SAAC Hunger” record 88,581.90 pounds, which equates to nearly 75,000 meals, was collected conference-wide. Ten C-USA schools collected more than 2,000 pounds of food donations during their drive week, while UTSA and Tulane collected more than seven tons of food.
UTSA collected 20,792 pounds of food for the San Antonio Food Bank, while Tulane gathered 14,238 pounds for Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans. East Carolina had the best online participation, with 794 pounds of food added to its collection of 3,400 pounds during the food drive for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
Other donations across Conference USA benefitted Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, Boca Helping Hands, Miami Rescue Mission Inc., Northwest Louisiana Food Bank, Marshall University Food Pantry, Middle Tennessee Student Food Pantry, Shepherd’s Hand Food Bank, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Houston Food Bank, Edwards Street Mission and Christian Services, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.
The C-USA SAAC was formed in 1998. Its committee consists of 32 representatives (two from each institution) with one member serving as chair and one member as vice chair. The committee meets five times a year, including one in-person meeting.