With a whopping 54,526 pounds of donated food — more than three times what was collected last year — San Diego State University won the 2011 Colleges Rock Hunger food drive for the fourth year in a row.
The annual event, sponsored by the Hard Rock Hotel, is a competition between area universities, and donations are collected on behalf of the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Universities are judged by how many pounds of food are collected in proportion to student population.
This year, California State University San Marcos came in second place, while University of California San Diego placed third.
“I want to ask people to think a little bit about what our students have seen in their lives — from 9/11 to two wars to significant environmental challenges and, of course, through recent economic issues,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.
“Now, faced by this onslaught, our students could become fearful, discouraged or anxious, but what has happened instead is that our students have become leaders... Students on all our campuses are going beyond the classroom, are applying the things they’ve learned and really making a difference.”
Associated Students executives, who organized this year’s effort, accepted the guitar trophy from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.
“In San Diego, we always take care of each other,” Sanders said. “That’s what communities do and San Diego’s a true community in that respect.”
Aztecs give back
Food was donated by SDSU students, faculty and staff in a variety of ways at different venues and events from Oct. 5 – 21, including:
- 3,541 pounds of donated food placed in red bins located in offices and buildings across campus
- 17,338 pounds from $4,515 donated via the online “virtual pantry” where every dollar donated was equivalent to 3.84 pounds of food
- 5,572 pounds from $1,451 collected during homecoming week, including change donated during the football game and a donation from the Marshall Faulk Foundation
- 27,924 pounds from $7,272 in financial contributions given at Aztec Markets on campus
Since its inception in 2008, SDSU has won the annual food drive. Aztecs have tripled their donations in each of the last two years:
- 2010: SDSU collected 18,841 pounds of food
- 2009: SDSU collected about 4,500 pounds of food
Amanda Pascoe, immediate past vice president of finance for Associated Students and who helped lead last year’s efforts, joked that next year’s team will be tasked with collecting triple the amount raised this year as part of a new Aztec tradition.