University Housing and Recreational Sports Win Divisions for 2018 Hunger Bowl
By Marilyn Primovic
UGA departments and organizations contributed to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia’s 2018 Hunger Bowl. University Housing and Recreational Sports’ Club Sports took the lead for their divisions.
“Food has a huge impact on the community we serve, due to the vast rate of food insecurity here in the Athens-Clarke area,” said Jenna Vaisvil, external relations assistant for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.
She said there are more than 26,000 food insecure people in Clarke County, which means they do not know where their next meal is coming from.
“Without food drives, and participation from great groups like UGA, we would not be able to come close to meeting the needs of the community, which is larger than ever around the holiday season,” she said.
This hunger drive is the latest example of the impressive culture of philanthropy built by UGA students, faculty and staff. In the 2017-2018 academic year, students raised several million dollars to support charities and causes, and 17,641 students completed 265,598 hours serving the community.
University Housing received the Overall Winner for Pounds per Person contributed at UGA for the second year in a row.
Carrie Campbell, University Housing spokesperson, said their annual initiative for the Hunger Bowl, “Housing Against Hunger,” focuses on impacting the local community.
“Our directors were looking for a way to support Athens the way the town supports us, and this program stood out as something everyone could contribute to,” she said.
She explained how University Housing’s tagline, “Home is where the Arch is,” places a focus on making the UGA and Athens communities a home for students when they arrive.
“Community members support each other, so this Housing Against Hunger campaign is a way we can leverage all the resources our residents and staff members have to benefit our community,” said Campbell
She explained how 24 bins were set up around the residence halls, and the department had drawings for prizes encourage participation.
“We had daily drawings for giveaways, like the chance to choose an on-campus space before everyone else,” she said.
Local businesses donated gift cards to be used as drawing giveaways to encourage staff members to donate too, Campbell said.
At the end of the drive, students and staff had collected 15,150 lbs. of food.
“We know students have a lot going on, and they’re not all in a position to give,” said Campbell. “That is why what we did this year is even more amazing—every little bit adds up to such a huge impact.”
Recreational Sports’ Club Sports took first place in the UGA Organizations division for the second year in a row.
Club Sports collected nearly 7 thousand pounds of food, which is an increase by about 2,000 pounds from last year, said Brittany Burris, Competitive Sports graduate assistant.
She said the swim team won the most contributions to the Club Sports collection.
“Clubs were able to collect the items and money however was best for them,” said Burris. “The teams would turn in their donations to a Competitive Sports staff member to accurately track the donation.”
Morgan Ethridge, dance team captain, explained how this collection excited her team members because some of them were already involved with the Northeast Georgia Food Bank.
She said making financial donations to the Food Bank is important because it opens the opportunity for more children to receive food and for the food bank to decide which foods are needed.
“This allows them to make the decision about what foods are needed to diversify the collection and keep everyone from bringing the same thing,” said Ethridge.
She said it was a great way for Club Sports to come together for one cause that impacts the community.
“Recreational Sports greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication our Club Sports participants show to both their chosen sport and the surrounding community,” said Heather Arnold, Recreational Sports spokesperson.