Competition for a Cause: How the Iron Bowl Inspires Students to End Hunger Featured

Students supporting this year’s “Beat Auburn Beat Hunger” campaign participating in the 2017 UA homecoming parade on Oct. 14 in Tuscaloosa. Students supporting this year’s “Beat Auburn Beat Hunger” campaign participating in the 2017 UA homecoming parade on Oct. 14 in Tuscaloosa. Jeff Gregg

It’s no secret the biggest rivalry in the state of Alabama exists on and off the football field. However, every year students from both Auburn University and The University of Alabama partner with their local communities to use that rivalry for a good cause.

“Beat Auburn Beat Hunger” is an annual event led by UA students in the six weeks leading up to the Iron Bowl that aims to fight hunger and poverty in the local community. The event unites UA students, staff, alumni, and fans with two common goals – helping the community and beating Auburn. 

“We motivate our team by reminding them that people eat because of the work they are doing,” said Carrie West, the advisor for BABH.

Every year since 1994, thousands of pounds of food have been donated. The schools have raised a combined 5.5 million pounds of food for their respective food banks. The University of Alabama’s drive benefits the West Alabama Food Bank, which serves Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties. In the fourth poorest state in the United States, this program truly makes a difference.

“We believe no child should wonder what they're going to eat over the weekend when they're not in school,” West said. “We believe seniors should not have to choose between medicine and food at the end of the month. We believe all people should have access to healthy and nutritious food, no matter where they live.”

For those looking to get involved, BABH offers a variety of opportunities to join the cause. Monetary donations can be made online, and nonperishable food items can be dropped off at multiple locations around Tuscaloosa, including many local public schools. You can also buy a BABH t-shirt at Alumni Hall in Midtown Village, or treat your family to dinner during one of their “give back” nights at popular local restaurants. 

While you may not be able to help your team win on the field (aside from cheering, of course), you can help fight hunger and poverty in your community. To learn more about how to donate or to find a local event, visit the BABH website: beatauburnbeathunger.sa.ua.edu. 

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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