Beat Bama Food Drive collects 229,361 pounds of food in 26th year fighting statewide hunger

Beat Bama Food Drive, an annual student-led effort to fight food insecurity, kicked off its 26th year on Oct. 1 and concluded on Nov. 21 with 229,361 pounds of food collected to benefit the community.

Since 1994, the Beat Bama Food Drive and the Food Bank of East Alabama have united students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to help fight hunger and food insecurity in East Alabama by challenging the University of Alabama and the Food Bank of West Alabama to an annual competition collecting non-perishable food for those in need. The good-natured competition has made an impact that reaches far beyond the campuses where it began.

“Nearly one in five Alabama residents, or 18.6 percent of the state, are considered food insecure,” said Martha Henk, executive director of the Food Bank of East Alabama. “The Food Bank of East Alabama serves seven counties in east central Alabama. The average food insecurity rate in this area is approximately 70,210 people, with 20,080 of those being children.”

In the last 25 years, more than 6 million pounds of food has been collected to feed families around the state.

The drive will conclude on Nov. 21, and a winner will be announced on Nov. 22.

Last year, Beat Bama Food Drive collected a total of 255,916 pounds of food.

To learn more about Beat Bama Food Drive, visit www.beatbamafooddrive.com.