TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama won the 2020 Beat Auburn Beat Hunger food drive for the fourth year in a row, raising 291,047 pounds of food, over Auburn’s 259,160 pounds of food.
The results were announced at an outdoor event at the West Alabama Food Bank Friday morning. The food drive is always a blessing and helps make it possible to feed the needy in the community, said Jean Rykaczewski, executive director of the food bank.
“This year more than ever with the pandemic and serving more people than we’ve ever seen before, it’s especially important for us,” she said. “Regardless of which school wins, it’s a win for the state. Over half a million pounds of food comes into the state, and we’re able to serve the people.”
Since beginning in 1994, the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger food drive and the Beat Bama Food Drive have collected more than 7 million pounds of nonperishable food for needy families in Alabama. This year’s drive ran from Oct. 1 to Nov. 19. Due to the pandemic, it focused mostly on monetary donations, with a dollar equal to 2 pounds of food.
All food and money collected from the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger food drive benefits the West Alabama Food Bank. The food bank works with nine counties in West Alabama, serving a population of more than 315,000 residents.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.