MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Gov. Kay Ivey is kicking off a friendly food drive competition between two of the biggest rivalries in Alabama.
The “Beat Bama Food Drive” and “Beat Auburn Beat Hunger” initiatives launched Friday to collect items for food banks across the state. For the 29th year in a row, a rivalry beyond football is helping feed those facing hunger.
“These donations right here will go in these buckets. I guess you can call this a bipartisan compromise,” Ivey said as students put bags of donations into their school’s bin.
Ivey made the first donations alongside student leaders from both schools and their mascots. An estimated one in seven Alabamians face food insecurity, and for children in the state, that’s one in five.
“Whether you’re an Auburn fan or an Alabama fan, you agree that no child should ever have to wonder where their next meal is coming from,” Ivey said.
From now through Nov. 17 leading up to the Iron Bowl, donation bins will be placed around the campuses and their surrounding areas. If you donate to Auburn’s efforts, food will go to the Food Bank of East Alabama. If you’re team Bama, items go to the West Alabama Food Bank.
You can also make financial donations online to either effort.
“We know this task of fighting food insecurity and hunger is large but we are not afraid to take it on. Together we can. As always, Roll Tide and War Eagle,” said Katie Graziano and Paige Hall. Graziano is President of Beat Auburn Beat Hunger and Hall is President of the Beat Bama Food Drive.
The schools have raised more than 7 million pounds of food since the contest began in 1994.
Last year, Auburn won with about 352,000 pounds of food. Alabama followed close behind at about 319,000 pounds.