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University of Utah Food Drive Makes the Season Brighter

U students Christine Thorup, Megan Mansell and Kip Chaichana collecting donations at Rice-Eccles Stadium during Utah vs. Arizona football game.

Dec. 20, 2012 – Don’t underestimate the power and determination of University of Utah alumni and students! They delivered on their promise to the Utah Food Bank to make this year’s Unrivaled Rivalry Food Drive a huge success. Their efforts, and the generosity of a vast number of U supporters, resulted in an impressive 400,030 pounds of donated food and $85,424 in monetary contributions.

From Nov. 5 to Nov. 24, the U Alumni Association’s Community Service Committee and the Student Alumni Board mobilized the campus community, 36 local elementary schools and dozens of grocery stores and businesses throughout the Salt Lake Valley.

“This year’s University of Utah food drive truly is unrivaled,” says Karen Sendelback, chief executive officer of the Utah Food Bank. “When combining food and funds, this year’s drive will feed 538 individuals for one year, 135 families of four for one year, or 67 families of eight for one year. Any way you look at the results, this annual event is crucial in the fight against hunger in Utah.”

Until this year, the annual food drive was based on an 18-year rivalry football game between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. Citing the changing nature of the rivalry, BYU this year informed the U Alumni Association that it would no longer compete and instead would participate with other Utah County higher education institutions in a cooperative food drive. That didn’t deter the U volunteers, who forged ahead with the Unrivaled Rivalry Food Drive.

Student Alumni Board member Jackson Haslam, a junior majoring in communications, helped arrange collections of food and money in local grocery stores. “We had a great time collecting, and people were very generous. It’s not only an opportunity to help others, but it helps us to bond as a board. We’re very thankful to Smith’s, Dan’s, and Harmons for providing us the opportunity,” says Haslam.

Support from the Alumni Association Board of Directors and online donations were at a record high this year, as were cash collections by U students at grocery stores. The Alumni Association Board of Directors generously matched every dollar that U students collected.

“We’re very excited about the overwhelming results from our food drive this year,” says Craig Stagg, a member of the U Alumni Association Board of Directors and chair of the board’s Community Service Committee. “The contributions will definitely help those in need throughout our community. I’d like to thank the Alumni Association Board of Directors, the students and participating partners in our community.”


The Alumni Association is dedicated to forging and preserving life-long relationships with alumni, students and the community. More about membership, news and events is online at


The University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Wasatch Range, is the flagship institution of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1850, it serves more than 32,000 students from across the United States and the world. With more than 100 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 90 major fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine, the University prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. Learn more about all the U has to offer, by going online to