Beat Bama Food Drive and Campus Food Pantry join to end food insecurity

Published: November 09, 2021

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For the first time, the Beat Bama Food Drive and Campus Food Pantry have joined together in the continuous fight against food insecurity in East Alabama. Through Nov. 18, any donation to Auburn’s Campus Food Pantry will be counted towards the university’s goal of beating the University of Alabama in the Beat Bama Food Drive.

“This partnership is a direct reflection of the work Beat Bama Food Drive students and the Campus Food Pantry do to alleviate food insecurity throughout not only Auburn’s campus but the Auburn community,” Charlie Gordon, Student Involvement graduate assistant for service programs, said.

Additionally, through this first-year partnership, the Campus Food Pantry will receive a portion of donations from the Beat Bama Food Drive, which directly supports students on Auburn’s campus.

The Campus Food Pantry began in 2012 to provide non-perishable food items to aid students struggling with food insecurity. It is an initiative of Auburn cares, a department of Student Affairs.

Donations of non-perishable food items are accepted at labeled Beat Bama Food Drive barrels located throughout major campus building and in Auburn retail stores, schools, churches and pharmacies. To give directly to the Campus Food Pantry, items can be delivered to 1115 Melton Student Center.

Beat Bama Food Drive monetary donations are accepted through multiple online platforms, including Venmo, GivePulse and the Beat Bama Food Drive website.

“We utilize a conversion system of 2 pounds for every $1 donated in monetary gifts and convert that physical weight of individual food items into a collective poundage total that we report to the Food Bank of East Alabama,” Gordon said. “We combine the donations to the Campus Food Pantry with the donations received at the Food Bank of East Alabama for our drive total.”

According to Gordon, one in four Auburn students face food insecurity every day, and for the Campus Food Pantry, monetary donations are essential in keeping the program running.

“There are certain times of the year when we run low on items, so monetary donations allow us to go to the grocery store and purchase those items,” Sarah Grace Kaschak, Auburn Cares coordinator, said. “Additionally, these funds help us make larger purchases as we are working to open a new, larger space—like a refrigerator to offer our users fresh foods.”

Jack Wray, Beat Bama Food Drive president, encourages everyone to come together and fight against something that impacts our community and state.

“Food insecurity doesn’t present itself like hunger or poverty where the person that is struggling is very apparent,” Wray said. “Imagine having to choose between a car payment, a textbook, your electricity bill or eating. Food security should be a basic human right.”

Because of this, Wray encourages everyone to come together and fight against something that impacts our community and state.

“I am so appreciative of Jack and Charlie’s work to make Beat Bama Food Drive bigger and better than ever this year,” Kaschak said. “I know we are going to change the lives of so many through this drive.”

Since 1994, Auburn University and the Food Bank of East Alabama have united students, faculty, alumni and community members to help fight hunger and poverty in our community by challenging the University of Alabama and the West Alabama Food Bank. The competition has since garnered donations of over six million pounds of food for Alabamians in need.

“The Beat Bama Food Drive team is comprised of students who have such a genuine passion for not just alleviating food insecurity in their own community but creating a better world than the one they currently live in,” Gordon said. “The work these students do every day embody the spirit of the Creed and the impact of the human touch.”

To give to the Beat Bama Food Drive and the Campus Food Pantry, click here.

For more information on these programs, visit the Beat Bama Food Drive and the Campus Food Pantry websites.

Submitted by: Payton Beck

Two students holding canned goods.