The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in the annual CAC Canned Food Drive Challenge, which is a competition among all ten conference schools to see which University can raise the most canned food items for their local food bank. This year, UMW raised the most in the CAC collecting 8,278 pounds of food, a whopping 3,549 more than last year and a new school record! Everything collected at UMW was donated to the Fredericksburg Regional food bank.
For the first time in more than a decade, SAAC decided to be “ALL IN” and rather than teams competing against one another, all teams worked together to collect more items than ever before. UMW Community Service Coordinator Abby Brethauer said, “It was a student run initiative and it was great to see all teams come together to feed the community.” Although the “official” food collection CAC competition is ten days in duration, SAAC decided to extend the food drive to 7 weeks with each individual week assigned a specific food item theme. Reminder banners were hung every Monday outside the Fitness Center by the SAAC Executive Board.
This year we teamed up with Sodexo, 99.3 The Vibe, Fredericksburg Baptist Church, the YMCA, two local schools and Residence Life! All participants supported UMW and donated many canned goods.
-- The dorms organized their own competition and the winning complex was A-Town, Alvey and Arrington!
-- The Fredericksburg Baptist Church donated almost 500 pounds of food for the campaign and the YMCA gave bags to all the after school children that donated a combined 1300 pounds of food.
-- 99.3 The Vibe added to the drive by raffling off Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Concert Tickets to any member of the community who donated canned food items to the curbside pickup on Friday November 6th.
-- This year Sodexo contributed by donating 800 pounds in turkeys! Heather Hosey, the marketing assistant for Sodexo said, “I think the food drive was amazing this year, everyone really came together to support the cause and we all worked together as one. At the end of the day this isn’t about a competition it’s about feeding people in our community and we truly were able to do that this year!”
SAAC even teamed up with Giant supermarkets, volunteering every day from October 29th – November 5th in the mornings and afternoons. Flyers were created to hand out to promote the food drive and encourage customers to participate in the event. On Wednesday November 4th 99.3 the Vibe even held a live remote broadcast outside the local Giant to promote the Food Drive. SAAC board members Hunter Causey, Emily Mott, Kate Smucker & Kris Currie were featured guest speakers.
Our women’s softball and field hockey teams even walked through the local neighborhood knocking on doors and received many generous donations in addition to the local companies that have partnered with SAAC.
UMW worked hard to promote the drive on social media and for every new like on the UMW Twitter and Facebook handle; Ken Tyler, UMW Athletic Director, donated one canned food item! At the end of the week UMW received a total of 82 new likes.
The final week of the food drive November 9th-13th; Sodexo and SAAC featured a food truck collecting food items outside Ball Circle. It was a successful week with many UMW students and professors contributing to the cause. One commuter student donated 81 pounds of food!
UMW SAAC President & senior Tyler Houston said, “I think the food drive was a tremendous success and I am proud of the amount of food we raised. The most fulfilling part for me was standing outside of Giant and collecting food from shoppers, being able to interact with members of community while raising food for the area was a great experience. These interactions between the university and the Fredericksburg community can’t happen often enough and really sum up what we as a university and athletics department are all about."