And, for the first time in three years, UA not only beat hunger, it beat Auburn University, which collected 232,544 pounds of food this year.
“It is incredible,” said Madison Green, a 21-year-old senior majoring in communications studies and vice president of marketing for Beat Auburn Beat Hunger. “We just can’t believe that we ended up raising 260,000 pounds.
“Our goal was 175,000 pounds, and our unspoken goal was 200,000 pounds,” Green said. “So, just to be able to get to that, and then go 60,000 pounds over it is unbelievable.”
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.
About 85,000 pounds of this year’s donations were actually food. The rest was monetary donations with every $1 providing about 2 pounds of food.
Jean Rykaczewski, executive director of the West Alabama Food Bank, said the food will be distributed to the food bank’s 93 partner agencies that will use it to feed thousands of people daily. It should last through April.