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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Aztecs Rock Hunger Returns with Record-Breaking Effort

The Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign raised $109,676 and broke the previous record by over $9,000.
By Olivia Li

San Diego State University’s Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign raised $109,676, surpassing its goal of $100,000 and breaking the previous record of $100,267 set in 2019.


“I’m so overwhelmed with the amount of support we got,” said A.S. Vice President of Financial Affairs Sophia Koch. “It’s incredible.”


From Oct. 14 to Nov. 6, the universitywide campaign led by Associated Students collected monetary donations and non-perishable food items to combat food and nutrition insecurity and support The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food BankA.S. Food Pantry and SDSU Economic Crisis Response Team. Donors gave online, at campus eateries and markets, at select athletic games and by dropping off non-perishable food in the red bins scattered across campus. A $1 donation provided two meals to those in need.


This year’s campaign was titled “Feed the Need” as a result of the lasting impact of the pandemic and inflation that have increased food and nutrition insecurity in the San Diego community. In the past year, The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank distributed 63 million pounds of food to the over 900,000 food-insecure people in the San Diego community.


“We’re currently serving over 400,000 people a month,” said Food Bank CEO Casey Castillo. “This money that was raised, over $109,000, will translate to over 200,000 meals that we’ll be able to provide to hungry individuals and families throughout the community, and we’ll be doing that over the holidays.”


SDSU President Adela de la Torre, speaking at a “great reveal” ceremony held Monday at the Lee & Frank Goldberg Courtyard, said the fundraising total “shows the commitment of many, many individuals” to the mission of the food bank.


“The fact that we can work together with this incredible agency, which also supports our students, is a wonderful partnership and collaboration,” de la Torre said. “It’s a great example of systems working together and more importantly, it defines who we are.”


Of the monetary donations, 20% stay on campus to benefit the SDSU Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT), which helps bridge the gap in resources for students experiencing immediate food, housing or unforeseen financial crises that impact student success. During the 2021-22 academic year, ECRT assisted roughly 2,000 students. In addition, the money raised will support the A.S. Food Pantry which continues to see a record-breaking amount of students using its services this semester.


While the three-week fundraising push for the campaign ended, those interested in fighting food and nutrition insecurity can still make a donation. Participants can donate through CashApp ($aztecsrock), via the SDSU Online Giving Portal or the Online Virtual Food Pantry.


“This number is proof of what happens when we band together for a common goal,” Koch said. “Every time this campaign was spread through word of mouth, every cent, it all mattered. Thank you.”