Utah’s interuniversity holiday food drive in November yielded 308 tons of food and more than $153,000 in cash donations. Students and alumni of rivals University of Utah and Brigham Young University staged the friendly competition to benefit clients of Utah Food Bank.
This year the U. prevailed, gathering 421,798 pounds of food and $108,045 in cash donations and shattering the record the school set the year before, according to a U. news release issued Jan. 12. The drive was held Nov. 12-25. Normally it culminates with the Utah-BYU football game, but the rivalry matchup occurred early in the season because of the schools’ departure from the Mountain West Conference.
Accordingly, participation levels and sponsorships from Utah businesses and schools were less than half of what they had been in previous years.
“We did a reality check a few weeks before the food drive and realized that despite difficulties, we’d go back to the food drive basics by promoting school spirit, beating BYU and providing hope,” said John Fackler, the U. Alumni Association’s director of business and outreach, in the release. “The increase [in donations] is directly attributable to the University of Utah community not being willing to let someone go hungry simply because there wasn’t a rivalry week football game.”