Each year Auburn and Alabama compete not only on the football field but in the fight against hunger.
More than 12 percent of the Alabama population are "food insecure." This means they are not assured of being able to obtain a balanced, adequate diet from non-emergency channels.
The annual Auburn and Alabama Food Fight strives to make a difference in the lives of the hungry.
The competition challenges the Beat Bama Food Drive, or BBFD, and the Food Bank of East Alabama against the University of Alabama and the Food Bank of West Alabama to see who can collect more non-perishable food.
Since the start of the competition in 1994, Auburn and Alabama have raised a combined 4 million pounds of food.
The 22nd annual food drive kicked off on Oct. 5 and will run until Nov. 20, the winner will be announced in the days leading up to the Iron Bowl.
Instead of focusing on a numeric goal, this year's BBFD staff wants to involve all aspects of the Auburn community into the drive.
"This competition is so much more than a historic Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry," said Sarah Perez, Beat Bama Food Drive president. "The success of our food drive could determine whether or not some families will have holiday meals in the upcoming months and food to sustain themselves after."
The food drive makes a huge impact in the Auburn community.
Last year the drive raised more than 198,000 pounds of food, a big difference than the second largest drive that collected 23,000 pounds.
"The Beat Bama Food Drive is our largest food drive of the year," said Martha Henk, Food Bank of East Alabama executive director. "Every pound of food donated, each dollar given and every hour volunteered leads us a step closer to ending hunger in our community."
The food drive accepts canned donations but monetary donations actually go much further for the food bank.
For the purposes of the drive, $1 is equal to two pounds of food. However, the food bank can stretch that dollar to almost 16 pounds of food or seven meals for those in need.
A huge aspect of fundraising for BBFD is partnerships with various organizations.
While in town for an on-campus concert, Brad Paisley partnered with BBFD to collect donations from concert-goers at stations around the venue.
"The fans donated $1,050.28," said Caroline Jager, Beat Bama Food Drive vice president of alumni and administration. "The money collected will provide up to 7,350 meals. We are blown away by the support shown by the Auburn community!"
BBFD has also partnered with Auburn University's Parking Services where students can donate canned goods to pay off their parking tickets and organizations have the opportunity to win A-zone parking passes for finals week.
From Nov. 2 to Nov. 13, students can bring can donations to the concourse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each can donated counts for $2 off your parking ticket, you can pay off a ticket of up to $50 with cans.
The organization that donates the most cans during the two week period will be awarded five A-zone parking passes that will be valid during finals week in December.
In addition to partnerships, BBFD will be hosting benefit nights throughout the drive. The Moe's BBQ vs. Moe's Southwest benefit night will be on Oct. 28 from 5 - 9 p.m. and the Jim n Nick's benefit night will be on Nov. 12 from 5 - 9:30 p.m.
BBFD is led by an executive staff of six officers. In the past, the organization usually has 25 staff members, but due to an outpouring of interest in volunteering and helping with the food drive, the staff accepted 100 committee members to help spread awareness and collect donations.
You can bring canned donations to multiple barrel locations both on campus and in the community.
If you would like to donate a monetary amount, click here.
For more information about BBFD, contact Sarah Perez at email@example.com.
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