The student-athletes of the OCU Athletics Department have gathered a record number of food items during this semester’s Canned Food Drive.
OCU student-athletes raised over 11,996 food items to donate to Skyline Urban Ministries. In the past eight years, the Athletics Department has donated over 49,846 items for the annual food drive.
The softball team came in first place, donating 2,368 items. This ranks them first among the 23 intercollegiate varsity programs on campus. The softball team alone has donated over 7,929 food items in the past five years of its participation in the event.
The women’s wrestling team took second, with 1,376 items, and was followed by the men’s wrestling team, who gathered 1,241.
The rowing program came in fourth with 1,045 food items to donate.
The effort to donate items spread across the campus, as student-athletes worked with other departments on campus to contribute food and set up donation stations in campus buildings. Student-athletes also connected donations during athletic events and at monthly Blue-White Luncheons.
The donation effort this year was done in concert with a Sooner Athletic Conference league-wide effort to fight hunger, titled “The SAC Gives Back.”
In a press release, Jim Abbott, athletic director, said he was extremely proud of his athletes, and the campus community as a whole.
“It’s very rewarding for me personally to see the effort and enthusiasm that our coaches and student-athletes put in to serving our community,” Abbott said. “The real heroes in this are the folks at Skyline Urban Ministry who work so tirelessly to provide services to those in need in our community. It has been a pleasure to partner with them, and we are committed to continuing our work to support their vital efforts.”
Skyline Urban Ministry is an outreach program of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. The program’s mission is to impact lives, empower those in need, and address the roots of poverty in Oklahoma. To that end, the program runs a Community Cupboard which operates as a choice pantry, meaning that clients can select their own foods based of their needs and their own preferences.
In 2014, Skyline plans to serve 30,000 individuals, over half of them children.
In a press release, Brandy Condrad, Skyline’s food resource center director, said that she could not express her gratitude to OCU.
. “OCU comes through for Skyline Urban Ministry’s Food Resource Center year after year,” Condrad said. “They continue to help us feed our hungry Oklahomans, and we couldn’t do it without them.”
To watch a video about the food drive, visit ocusports.com.
For more information on Skyline Ministry’s programs, please visit their website.
To learn more about the Sooner Athletic Conference’s community food drive initiative, visit their website.