Annual Beat Bama Food Drive continues through Nov. 15

Published: October 29, 2018
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The Beat Bama Food Drive is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. In 2017, Auburn collected 232,544 pounds of food to feed local families. This year they are hoping to raise even more.

The annual food drive, which spans six weeks leading up to the Iron Bowl, kicked off Oct. 1 and continues through Nov. 15.

Since 1994, Beat Bama Food Drive has united students, faculty, alumni and community members to help fight hunger and food insecurity in East Alabama by collecting non-perishable food items as well as monetary donations. This unique competition leverages the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama to do a lot of good for both schools, the local food banks, the state of Alabama and those facing food insecurity.

“Beat Bama Food Drive brings so much attention and awareness to an issue that goes unnoticed,” said Liv Taylor, president of Beat Bama Food Drive. “Food is a basic need that affects our ability to do anything else and the people around us, in our own community, are struggling without us even realizing it. I hope to make an impact by not only raising cans for those who are food insecure, but also raising awareness.”

The organization's name stems from the rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Alabama as they compete to see which school can collect more non-perishable food to help those in need. The good-natured contest has raised nearly six million pounds across the state of Alabama.

From Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, Beat Bama Food Drive will be hosting ‘Break the Bank’ week. This week is a fundraising push where the organization will be on the concourse hosting small events including a photo booth, Aubie and themed days.

Earlier this month, Beat Bama Food Drive partnered with Universities Fighting World Hunger and Campus Kitchens to host a Hunger Banquet in the Student Center Ballroom.

This event was a simulation of food insecurity in the state of Alabama where each participant was randomly assigned a social class- upper, middle or lower- and was seated and served food accordingly.

In Alabama, almost 60 percent of the population falls under the “lower-class” category.

“We discussed the boundaries that these social classes implicate and how each 'class' felt in the simulation, whether that be guilty, jealous, content or somewhere in between,” said Taylor.

“We hope this showed some of the student body what people go through on a daily basis with being food insecure—some of these people being our fellow students or people who work for the university that we see every day.”

To help make donating easier for students and community members, the organization has placed 20 barrels in locations across campus for students to donate, as well as in more than 20 off-campus collection sites.

Beat Bama Food Drive will also be conducting neighborhood pick-up the week of Nov. 1. Student leaders will distribute bags to several neighborhoods in the Auburn area asking local residents to donate canned food. The bags will be collected a few days later and taken to the East Alabama Food Bank.

“Through the neighborhood drives, Beat Bama Food Drive gets to be a catalyst for the community to give to those in need and be involved with the university,” said Matthew Ragan, alumni & administration vice president of beat Bama food drive. “It is incredibly humbling to see how much the Auburn Family really cares.”

The organization also accepts monetary donations to the Food Bank of East Alabama. Monetary donations not only significantly help Auburn Beat Alabama in the competition but it is also the most effective way to feed community members who struggle to attain food for their own family.

A full list of where to donate can be found on their website: beatbamafooddrive.com.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.