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Rival Basketball Teams Join to Help Local Food Banks

Can drive

Students from the Interfaith Council and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs donate canned foods to the Capital Area Food Bank as part of the Can It! Rivals on the Court: Teammates in the Fight Against Hunger drive, sponsored by Georgetown and Syracuse universities.

February 9, 2012 – A university-wide interfaith initiative to collect canned food for local food banks culminated with Georgetown visiting rival Syracuse in a Big East basketball clash Feb. 8.

The Can It! Rivals on the Court: Teammates in the Fight Against Hunger drive ran from Feb. 1-8 at Georgetown and Syracuse, culminating with the hoops showdown.

Georgetown fell to Syracuse in overtime 64-61.

Supporting Community

The initiative is part of the White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, in which both universities participate.

Georgetown students, faculty and staff delivered canned food donations to drop-off sites across campus.

Their donations will support Washington, D.C.’s Capital Area Food Bank, which distributes nearly 30 million pounds of food to more than 478,000 people annually.

Proud Partners

“Georgetown is thrilled to partner with Syracuse as teammates in the fight against hunger,” says Melody Fox Ahmed, assistant director for programs and operations at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown. “Both our communities are dedicated not only to our excellent basketball teams, but to coming together to help those who need it most.”

Despite the rivalry on the basketball court, representatives of both schools were eager to participate in the endeavor.

“Syracuse University is proud to partner with Georgetown University in this exciting new initiative,” says Tiffany Steinwert, dean of Syracuse’s Hendricks Chapel. “We wanted to embody the slogan ‘Better Together’ by coming together, despite rivalries, for the common good.”

The canned food Syracuse collects will go to the Food Bank of Central New York.

Fighting Hunger

In an opinion essay in The Hoya, Georgetown’s student newspaper, Student Interfaith Council President Aamir Hussain (C’14) wrote that the goal of the food drive was to “increase awareness and mobilize support for the fight against hunger by harnessing each university’s enthusiasm for both basketball and community service.”

“By integrating their passions for social justice into the much-anticipated basketball game [on Feb. 8], members of both universities want to show the nation that they are, truly, better together,” Hussain wrote. “Georgetown and Syracuse, while starkly different universities in many other respects, are united by their commitment to interfaith dialogue and community service.”


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