Gov. Kay Ivey celebrates 25th annual food drive kickoff with Auburn and Alabama

SEC football’s deepest rivalry fuels the fight to end hunger in the state of Alabama

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Representatives from Auburn University’s Beat Bama Food Drive and the University of Alabama’s Beat Auburn Beat Hunger, along with each school’s cheerleaders, mascot and SGA president, will gather with Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday, Oct. 1, at 11:30 a.m. on the front steps of the Capitol to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the annual food drive competition.

Since 1994, the food drives have united students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to help fight hunger and food insecurity across the state of Alabama. Through the six-week long event from Oct. 1 until Nov. 15, each organization will be accepting nonperishable food items as well as monetary donations for their respective region’s food banks. To keep up with more localized fundraising events, follow each organization’s social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“Since their beginnings, ‘Beat Auburn Beat Hunger’ and the ‘Beat Bama Food Drive’ have proven the real impact students can have on our entire state. These students are giving Alabamians more than food on their table; they are giving folks across our state a hopeful future,” Gov. Ivey said. “It’s exciting to see these two rivals working for a common goal, and I very much look forward to the good I know that will come from this year’s food drive.”

Nearly one in five Alabama residents, or 16.5 percent of the state, are considered food insecure. The number is even higher for children, with 22.5 percent facing food insecurity.

“Beat Bama Food Drive brings so much attention and awareness to an issue that goes so very unnoticed,” said Liv Taylor, president of Beat Bama Food Drive. “Food is a basic need that affects our ability to do anything else, and 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.”

"It is an amazing privilege to be a part of an organization that makes such a real and direct impact on our community,” said Olivia Van Pragg, president of Beat Auburn Beat Hunger. “With over 17percent of Tuscaloosa county suffering from food insecurity, I believe the passion and drive University of Alabama students bring to this cause allows for the awareness to grow exponentially. We are excited to enter our 25th year of Beat Auburn Beat Hunger, partnering with the West Alabama Food Bank to bring light to the food insecurity in our state and give students an opportunity to make change."

In total, Beat Bama Food Drive and Beat Auburn Beat Hunger have collectively donated more than 6 million pounds of food to feed families across the state.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 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.