Averett SAAC Wins ODAC Food Drive

Posted on November 22nd, 2023 by Bill Dyer

FOREST, Va. — With more than 10,500 items collected and donated locally, Averett University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s conference-wide food drive amongst the ODAC’s 15-member institutions as its first community service initiative for the 2023-24 academic year. All ODAC members united during the fall semester to help local organizations by conducting food drives on the campuses of each member institution.

“The food drive is a great opportunity to have a friendly competition off the field for all the schools across the conference,” said Matthew Clark, a sophomore for Averett men’s lacrosse. “It’s an amazing opportunity for us as student-athletes to give back to the communities we are a part of. At Averett, it created the opportunity for us as a school to have some fun and compete against each. The ability to make a major impact on our community while still having fun and getting closer with each other is really an unmatched gift.”

This year the conference accumulated 38,635 items that were distributed to food pantries surrounding their local community. The total well surpassed the 28,000 items collected from a year ago.

With a total of 10,582 food items, Averett spearheaded the conference collection efforts with all donations going in the Danville community to God’s Storehouse. Guilford College finished second with 7,864 items donated followed by Ferrum College with 5,600 collected.

Aidan Barber, a senior on Averett’s men’s soccer and volleyball teams said, “It is inspiring to be a part of what making a difference can look like. My feelings are enhanced with joy and passion knowing we as a conference are willing to join hand-in-hand to help those in need.”

Commissioner Brad Bankston commented, “Our student athlete advisory committees have continued to make an impact in their local communities. This food drive is one of the many ways they give back. Over the last five years the conference collectively donated over 100,000 canned goods to local organizations. This cooperation goes to show what a difference we can make together.”

The local organizations where the ODAC institutions donated their collections are listed below:

  • Averett University | God’s Storehouse
  • Bridgewater College | Blue Ridge Area Food Bank – Verona, Va.
  • Eastern Mennonite University | Blue Ridge Area Food Bank – Verona, Va.
  • Ferrum College | St. James Community Center – Ferrum, Va. and God’s Provision Food Pantry – Rocky Mount, VA
  • Guilford College | Second Harvest Food Bank of NW North Carolina – Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Hampden-Sydney College | STEP Center – Farmville, Va.
  • Hollins University | Feeding America Southwest Virginia – Salem, Va.
  • University of Lynchburg | Lynchburg Daily Bread and University of Lynchburg Campus Food Pantry– Lynchburg, Va.
  • Randolph College | Neighbors feeding neighbors – Amherst, Va.
  • Randolph-Macon College | Hanover Safe Place – Ashland, Va.
  • Roanoke College | Feeding America Southwest Virginia – Salem, Va.
  • Shenandoah University | Bright Futures – Winchester, Va.
  • Sweet Briar College | Blue Ridge Area Food Bank – Lynchburg, Va.
  • Virginia Wesleyan University | Virginia Wesleyan University Staff-In-Need and Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia – Norfolk, Va.
  • Washington and Lee University | Rockbridge Area Relief Association – Lexington, Va.