San Diego State went above and beyond what it hoped to raise for this year's Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive benefitting the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, raising 107,551 pounds of food for San Diegans in need.
With a goal of 100,000 pounds — almost twice the 55,000 pounds collected last year — SDSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members collected monetary donations and non-perishable food as part of the fifth annual Colleges Rock Hunger food drive sponsored by the Hard Rock Hotel. SDSU, which dubs its campus campaign "Aztecs Rock Hunger," has won the competition every year since its inception in 2007.
"It’s gratifying to know the whole reason we’re here today is because we’re giving back to the San Diego community," said Eric Anderberg, Associated Students vice president of finance and chair of the Associated Students community service board that organizes the Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive.
"The fact that San Diego State came together to raise the amount of food that we did is just an incredible feeling. We put a lot of hard work into it and it paid off. It’s a contribution to the greater community that we can really be proud of."
SDSU was well represented during the Colleges Rock Hunger announcement, which also serves as a kick-off for the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank Holiday Food Drive. Representatives included students and staff with Associated Students, Aztec Shops, SDSU administration and alumni, including San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Jacquelyn Young, wife of San Diego council member and council president Tony Young.
"I just ask you to take a minute about what the students who are here have seen in their young lifetimes — economic challenges, the political challenges," said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman, who spoke on behalf of all the university partners.
"Faced with this kind of environment, students could have become fearful; they could have become discouraged. But I think that everyone at all of our universities will testify that students have become leaders, they have become activists."
President Hirshman also thanked the SDSU partners that organized the Aztecs Rock Hunger drive, including:
The competition ranked donations based on the ratio of pounds collected to student population at participating universities. The second place winner of the competition was Point Loma Nazarene University, followed by University of California San Diego and California State University San Marcos.
Organizers of the Aztecs Rock Hunger drive credited SDSU's win to increased visibility, incorporating new forms of donations into this year's drive and the longer time frame — this year's competition took place Oct. 5 - 28, a week longer than in previous years.
About Colleges Rock Hunger
In response to the exponential demand from San Diego families affected by the economic crisis, the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego sponsored the fifth annual Colleges Rock Hunger Food Drive. Food collected from the Colleges Rock Hunger Food Drive will be the first official donation to the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank's 2012 Holiday Food Drive.
Established in 1977, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is a critical component of San Diego County, providing food to people in need, advocating for the hungry and educating the public about hunger-related issues.
Through a combination of government programs and partnerships with more than 350 San Diego County non-profit charities, the food bank acts as a central repository and distribution point for goverment and donated food. The food bank distributed 17.9 million pounds of food in the 2011-12 fiscal year to individuals, families and a network of non-profit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego County.