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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies CAN food drive expects biggest year yet with SEC games

Aggies CAN

A&M athletes will join together again for the 16th annual Aggies CAN food drive, the largest student athlete-run food drive in the country. This year Aggies CAN hopes to collect more cans by holding collection events during home SEC games.
The food drive kicks off at the Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss soccer game on Oct. 25 and ends after the Texas A&M vs. South Carolina football game on Oct. 31. At each of these games, fans are encouraged to bring canned goods or monetary donations in exchange for prizes and giveaways.
Last year Aggies CAN collected over $13,000 and 8,000 pounds of canned food. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee expects an increase in donations this year, said Kelli Benjamin, SAAC president and interdisciplinary studies senior.
“Last year’s event was not hosted during an SEC game, and that actually makes a huge difference with the crowd,” Benjamin said. “With this being an SEC game, we hope to collect more. We’re also excited to have South Carolina fans coming and being part of the Aggie tradition and seeing what we’re all about.”
Aggies CAN began in 2000 when a handful of students felt the desire to give back to their community. Today, members of the SAAC continue this tradition, said Callie Scheffler, finance senior and SAAC vice president.
“I really like giving back to the community that has given us so much,” Scheffler said. “Everyone comes out and supports us in all of our events, and this is our opportunity as student athletes to use the platform we’ve been given to help others. It’s definitely a lot of work, but it’s really rewarding.”
The success that Aggies CAN has experienced is due, in part, to their sponsors, The Eagle, KAGS and Whataburger, said Jewel May, Life Skills and Career Coordinator and Aggies CAN advisor.
“Our community partners make it easy,” May said. “Working with Brazos Valley Food Bank is easy and so is working with the on-campus competition. Everybody is always willing to help.”
May said the fundraiser is unique because it’s entirely student run and organized.
“From an advising standpoint, this is something that the students take full ownership of,” May said. “ It’s a good place for students to get involved as little or as much as they want to all in one event.”
May said students really get into the drive, and various organizations — including the Interfraternity Council, the MSC, Residence Hall Association, Big Event and others — compete against each other to see who can collect the most canned goods from Oct. 26 through Oct. 30.
Ten percent of monetary donations are given to the 12th Can, Texas A&M’s student run food pantry, and the rest goes to the Brazos Valley Food Bank.
“Aggies CAN allows a lot of money to go directly into the Brazos Valley community, which is cool,” May said. “It’s not shipping off to some place where you will never be able to see the impact.”

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