FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Meredith College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) collected 1,418 non-perishable food items as part of the USA South's "Cans Across the Conference" project. The league SAAC established the annual initiative in 2004 in order to help less fortunate community members during the holidays.
Led by junior soccer player Megan Amantides and senior tennis standout Puja Patel, SAAC sponsored a variety of activities throughout the semester to help two local organizations.
The Avenging Angels split the collection between Meredith's
Daisy Trade Too, an on-campus resource supporting Meredith students
and their families in need of food, and InterAct of Wake
County Residential Shelter. The nearby shelter provides housing and
education for women and families who are victims of domestic and
Meredith sports teams collected canned food items during several home games this fall, and boxes were available across campus during the college's annual Cornhuskin' celebration. SAAC also sponsored a cornhole tournament following the soccer team's Senior Day. Participating teams donated cash or cans to play.
The USA South SAAC organized the canned food drive as a community service competition among the 13 conference institutions. Each campus SAAC collected cans and other non-perishable items at their school to benefit a local charity of their choice. The institution with the most items collected would be crowned the "Cans Across the Conference" Champion.
With a total of 6,095 items, the Ferrum College Panthers earned this year's trophy for the first time. Methodist University collected 2,368 items to finish second, while Greensboro College's 2,267 items completed the top-three.
Overall, the league members collected 20,497 items this fall. Over the ten-year history of the program, league members have donated 278,652 items to various organizations.