The University of Mary Washington was the clear leader among the six Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) member institutions that collected more than two tons of food in the conference’s first “challenge” to support local food banks in their respective communities.
The challenge was first issued by UMW representatives at the Sept. 19 CAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting at Stevenson University. The net result was more than 4,200 pounds of food for various local food banks.
UMW has conducted a November food drive to support a food bank in Fredericksburg, Va., for more than a decade. The entire university participates annually, pitting competitions between residence halls, clubs, athletic department and others. Prior to joining forces for the campus-wide competition, the athletic teams compete internally for top honors within the department, which earns the winning team a pizza party.
The experience of the Eagles’ program collected 2,655 pounds of food in a five-day drive from Nov. 8 through Nov. 12.
CAC SAAC committees that accepted the challenge include Frostburg State University, which is in its first year of membership in the conference, along with Marymount (Va.) University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Stevenson University and Wesley College.
Wesley finished second in total pounds of food, collected primarily at the team’s final regular-season football game on Nov. 13. The athletic department donated 703 pounds of food for the Delaware Food Bank.
Frostburg State collected 439 pounds of food for the Western Maryland Food Bank while Marymount donated its one-day total of 270 pounds for an Arlington (Va.) County food bank and Stevenson collected 143 pounds in one day for the Maryland Food Bank.
Students and SAAC members at St. Mary’s also participated in the project, but donated the food to a local organization before compiling a total weigh of the collected items.
The other three CAC member institutions have different community service projects running concurrently with the food drive, such as York College of Pennsylvania’s Christmas in the Community celebration, which has been nationally recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors (NACDA) in each of the past two years.
There is also interest among the conference member institution SAAC committees to have a blood drive competition during the spring semester.