BYU hopes to fill LaVell Edwards Stadium this month, not with fans, but with dollars and food in support of the annual BYU vs. University of Utah food drive Nov. 14-26.
According to Community Action Services and the Food Bank in Provo, nearly 63,000 people are living below the poverty line in Utah County — and BYU’s stadium contains 63,000 seats. BYU Student Alumni, which runs the drive, is looking for enough donations to “pack” each seat, which translates into $50,000 and 17,000 gallons of food.
“We really anticipate a generous response from the community,” says Richard Bean, president of Student Alumni. “Their support has contributed immensely to our success in the past.”
In the past five years, the BYU food drive has brought in more than 145,740 pounds of food and $580,000. Each dollar donated translates into 17 pounds of food for needy families. The annual BYU food drive is a critical resource for Community Action Services and for the community.
“Though the food drive involves a competition between BYU and the University of Utah, it is really the community that wins,” says Bean. “The food and money donations we collect are wonderful gifts to Utah families during the holiday season.”
Community members can participate in the food drive in several ways. Monetary donations can be made online at fooddrive.byu.edu. The public can also contribute by purchasing Y-cards at local businesses or donating non-perishable food items to bins throughout the valley. Bins will be available at the following locations: select Macey’s and Allen’s Grocery stores, Koehler’s Food in Highland, Wendy’s in Provo, BYU Bookstore and Dining Services locations and across the BYU campus.
All proceeds collected for BYU will be donated to Community Action Services and Food Bank and then distributed to needy families in Utah and Wasatch counties. The organization involves the community to alleviate hunger by collecting and distributing donated food and hygiene items to local pantries, community agencies, churches and senior centers.
BYU Student Alumni, the student branch of the BYU Alumni Association, seeks to establish a permanent connection among students, alumni and the university. The association promotes traditions, encourages professional development and stimulates personal growth, thus preparing graduates to be engaged alumni who make lifelong contributions to BYU and their communities.
Each year, approximately 100 student volunteers run and promote programs that involve more than 5,000 students and alumni. The mission of the BYU Student Alumni is to help Cougars today become Cougars forever.