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SAAC promotes sixth annual Midwest Conference canned food drive

Beloit College’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is promoting the Sixth Annual Midwest Conference Canned Food Challenge. The group has been collecting non-perishable food and monetary donations for Caritas Food Pantry in Beloit, beginning  on October 16 and continuing until November 19. 

Beloit College is competing with the nine other schools in the Midwest Conference (Knox, Ripon, Grinnell, St. Norbert, Illinois College, Cornell, Monmouth, Lake Forest and Lawrence) to see who can collect the most amount of donation items. Across the region, SAAC representatives at Division III schools are promoting the fundraiser throughout their campuses. Every box or can donated counts as one item, and every dollar donated counts as two items. 

During the four week time span, each school has been gathering as many items as possible for local charity organizations. Last year, Knox College came in first place, with a total of 16,921 items collected. Beloit College lagged far behind with a total of 225.

Beloit’s representatives have been working hard to promote the cause and increase participation across campus in an effort to benefit the community and to have more a competitive result for this year’s challenge. 

“We’ve already doubled how much we had last year,” said Kieran Rodning’21, who is Secretary of SAAC. “Some of the ways we’re doing that is by trying to get the sports teams more involved, so there’s this mini-competition between all the sports teams going on.”

So far, this method has been working. Even the athletic trainers have joined in on the contest as their own team. 

“An athlete on the SAAC board had asked us to join,” said Assistant Athletic Trainer Courtney Georg. “We’re in last place. We got entered into the game late. I was just asked to put a box out, so that’s what we did, but it seems that most people are turning things in either upstairs or directly to their coaches. If we could get more general student body to help out with it, I think that would be the goal, but I don’t have much presence in that area.”

Although the food drive is being promoted through competition among sports teams, the main goal is to spread the charity event throughout the entire campus to raise as much as possible for Caritas Food Pantry. 

“We’ve essentially been trying to branch out beyond just athletes because SAAC isn’t just for athletes,” said SAAC Representative, Isabel Mendoza’22. “It’s just about getting the entire campus involved.”

Over the weekend, students raised money for the challenge at football team’s Senior Day game this Saturday, November 9th. 

“We’re trying to get parents to give us monetary donations,” said Rodning, who was volunteering at the game. “I think we’ve gotten a solid amount today. We have a donation bucket on the other side and another at concessions.”

SAAC representatives at Beloit are working to place higher compared to rival schools in the challenge, but their main focus is to support the local food pantry.

“I think we’re helping a lot of people and it feels good,” said Rodning. “I think some people don’t think much of SAAC, but we’re trying to make it different and make a difference. So that’s what we’re up to.”

Collection boxes are located at the main entrance of Commons, at the entryway in the Athletic Office in the Sports Center, and inside all of the coaches offices if you would like to support a specific team.


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