For the second-straight year, the Capital Athletic Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) combined for more than two tons of food to donate to local food banks in time for the holiday season.
The concept was initiated on a challenge by the University of Mary Washington SAAC leadership to the other CAC members at the conference's Fall 2010 meeting. The net result last year was more than 4,200 pounds of food for various local food banks.
This year, four schools combined to collect more than 4,000 pounds, but the exact weight is unknown. Three schools - Mary Washington (2,694 lbs), St. Mary's (630 lbs.) and Frostburg State (577) - combined to collect 3,901 pounds of food.
Hood College also participated, collecting 175 non-perishable products, including both can goods and boxes of cereal, which was estimated to be more than enough to push this year's conference total over 4,000 pounds.
UMW has conducted a November food drive to support a food bank in Fredericksburg, Va., for more than a decade. The entire university participates annually, creating competitions between residence halls, clubs, athletic department and others. Prior to joining forces for the campus-wide competition, the athletic teams compete internally for top honors within the department, which earns the winning team a pizza party.
The Eagles collected 2,694 pounds of food in a five-day drive in early November. The baseball team by far outdistanced all the other teams at UMW, collecting 1,058.5 pounds of food. The women's lacrosse team (436 lbs.) edged the men's lacrosse team (415.5 lbs) for second place among the Eagles teams.
St. Mary's donated 630 pounds of food to St. Cecilia's Food Pantry in St. Mary's County while Frostburg State collected 577 pounds of food to the Braddock House in western Maryland. Hood's donation was made to the Frederick (Md.) Soup Kitchen.
Other CAC member institutions have different community service projects running concurrently with the food drive, such as York College of Pennsylvania’s Christmas in the Community celebration, which has been nationally recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors (NACDA) in two of the last three years.