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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Canned food drive focuses on Auburn game for donations

The Gators have won conference titles in both basketball and football, and now they're hoping to add one for community service.

UF student-athletes, along with the other 11 Southeastern Conference schools, started collecting cans on Sept. 21 as a part of a conference-wide canned food and financial donation drive.

The SEC committee began planning the Together We CAN food drive last year and asked each school to choose sports events where supporters could make donations, said Bryan Patterson, University Athletic Association life skills coordinator.

UF chose to center its drive on the football game against Auburn and invite fans to support them.

The UF committee is asking Gators fans to bring canned goods, non-perishables and monetary donations to the Alltel Wireless Gator Fan Fest opening at 4 p.m. Saturday near Gate 2 of the O'Connell Center.

All 18 UF varsity teams are participating in the food drive. Each team has a representative responsible for collecting and organizing the donations.

The canned food and donations collected will be sent to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank in Gainesville. The majority of the food will be distributed through family food boxes that feed families of four, according to Kristina Stubs, a Bread of the Mighty Food Bank employee.

The food drive is not a competition, but the school that collects the most will be recognized during SEC commercials and events.

Patterson said he hopes the student-athletes feel rewarded after contributing to their community.

"The only satisfaction needed is the satisfaction that you did something to help someone else," he said.

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