Jan. 7, 2011
IRVING, Texas - The Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee collected more than 40,100 pounds of food to donate to various charities around the country through the C-USA Changing Lives Program. The Changing Lives Program was established as a way to unite league institutions through a conference-wide community service initiative. Each C-USA institution worked with their local community to conduct a campus-wide food drive for one week during the fall semester.
The University of Southern Mississippi earned the 2010 C-USA SAAC Cup after totaling a league-best 7,343 pounds in a food drive for Edwards Street Mission & Christian Services. The Edwards Street Mission & Christian Services serves children and families throughout Mississippi. The 2010 C-USA SAAC Cup will be presented by the Southern Miss SAAC to Athletics Director Richard Giannini at an event this spring.
Following the Golden Eagles in a close second for the Cup was the University of Memphis. The Tigers collected 5,850 pounds of food for the Mid-South Food Bank, while SMU finished third, producing 5,354.36 pounds for the North Texas Food Bank. Both organizations strive to fight the war on hunger by efficiently collecting and distributing wholesome food, while educating the community on the problem of hunger.
Tulane, Houston and East Carolina each brought in more than 4,000 pounds for area food banks. The Green Wave accounted for 4,799 pounds for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans, a group that has provided emergency food boxes to those affected by the Gulf oil spill in the past year. Houston brought in 4,298 pounds of food for the Star of Hope Mission, which is dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and children. The Pirates gathered 4,113 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, an organization that strives to prevent hunger in the area.
Rice and UTEP also topped the 1,000-pound mark, with the Owls bringing in 3,386.36 pounds and the Miners gathering 2,828 pounds. Rice will send its collection to the Houston Food Bank, which provides food for over 137,000 people each week. UTEP donated its food to the West Texas Food Bank, helping to provide food for 22 counties in the west Texas region.
Marshall and UCF also held food drives. The Herd raised 953 pounds for the Huntington Area Food Bank, which partners with Feeding America to help provide food to over 290 agencies that serve hungry people in West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio. The Knights collected 800 pounds in the drive for a local organization.
Rounding out the C-USA Changing Lives Program are Tulsa and UAB. The Hurricane brought in 263 pounds of food for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, helping to provide hunger relief in the eastern Oklahoma area. The Blazers brought in 180 pounds for Magic City Harvest, an organization established to alleviate food insecurity, malnutrition and food waste in the Birmingham community.