SAAC turns in-state rivalry into food for a community
    March 22, 2007

    Links Full story on the ACC's website
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    In an effort to highlight the leadership and good works of the student-athletes in the conference, the ACC SAAC began the SAAC in ACCtion initiative to provide on-line articles about the SAAC programs at the league's 12 member institutions. The goal of this initiative is to shed light on the great things our student-athletes are doing to affect significant positive change on campus and in our communities.

    Every two weeks, the SAAC leaders from a different school will provide a SAAC in ACCtion update on how their program is getting involved. When reading these articles, we hope that it is evident that their efforts to give back result in so much more.

    Virginia Tech's SAAC is involved in community service projects throughout the year. Most recently, the group utilized the Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry to help feed those in the Blacksburg community.

    On February 9-10, Virginia Tech-SAAC sponsored a canned food drive competition between themselves and the University of Virginia SAAC. Lindsay Pieper, VT SAAC President contacted UVA's SAAC President to find out if they would be interested in a friendly canned food drive competition and UVA agreed.

    "SAAC is hoping for a lot of participation, because the drive is an unofficial part of the Commonwealth Challenge," said Mallory Soldner, SAAC Outreach Chair. "Though no points are officially awarded, we would love the bragging rights."

    VT SAAC collected the canned goods during the evening of February 9th by standing in front of the local Kroger Stores and Food Lion in Blacksburg asking for canned food donations. Throughout the night they collected 633 canned goods. The afternoon of February 10, during the VT basketball game verses the University of Virginia, they collected over 700 canned goods and $793.00 in donations.

    The food items collected at the basketball game went to the Montgomery County Emergency Shelter, Blacksburg Interfaith Pantry and Spiritual Roots Ministry Food Bank. The money donation went to Spiritual Roots Ministry Food Bank and they were able to purchase additional items, for a grand total of 4,212 food items given to Montgomery County.

    "The athletes were fantastic to work beside and were so willing to help with sorting and packing up food. The collection and donation of food to our local food bank has enabled us to continue to provide assistance to individuals and families in the New River Valley. We were really low in food and this effort of the Virginia Tech SAAC has filled our shelves," said Beverly Taylor, Spiritual Roots Ministry Food Bank.

    Virginia Tech won the food drive.
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