Notre Dame student-athletes collect canned goods, other items for Food Bank of Northern Indiana

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Student-athletes representing women’s basketball, hockey, baseball, women’s lacrosse and more accepted donations of canned and boxed foods and baking products

Student-athletes representing women’s basketball, hockey, baseball, women’s lacrosse and more accepted donations of canned and boxed foods and baking products

Student Welfare and Development, a division of Notre Dame Athletics, hosted a summer food drive July 10 to benefit the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.

Student-athletes representing women’s basketball, hockey, baseball, women’s lacrosse and more accepted donations of canned and boxed foods and baking products from 9 a.m. to noon outside Purcell Pavilion, home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The event resulted in nearly 700 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, which supports 140 member organizations in Elkhart, LaPorte, Kosciusko, Marshall, Starke and St. Joseph counties in Indiana. That’s the equivalent of about 531 meals.

The donations come at a critical time for the Food Bank, which is experiencing increased need in the wake of the pandemic. According to Feeding America, food banks across the U.S. are feeding 55 percent more people now than before the pandemic. Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks, including the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, distributed 6 billion meals during the first nine months of the pandemic alone.

Collin Stoecker is program coordinator for Student Welfare and Development.

“We continue to be impressed and inspired by our student-athletes’ drive to make an impact in our community following a difficult year,” Stoecker said. “They have identified areas of need in South Bend, whether it be helping kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs or coordinating a drive for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, and have run with them and created successful, impactful events. I am proud to work with our student-athletes and excited to see what this new school year brings us.”

“As we emerge from the pandemic, the need for food assistance remains high for so many in the communities we serve,” said Marijo Martinec, executive director and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. “Notre Dame student-athletes have a longstanding relationship with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana — volunteering and holding food drives to restock our shelves. We are so humbled by their commitment and enthusiasm for our mission to feed the hungry.”

With support from Student Welfare and Development, Notre Dame student-athletes regularly partner with local organizations, including schools and other nonprofits, to collect food and other items for people in need. They also volunteer with a number of local organizations.

In the past year alone, the women’s soccer team collected 1,111 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. The women’s rowing team collected hygiene products for local K-8 students. And student-athletes and staff from multiple teams and departments collected toys and other gifts for 22 local K-5 students and their families.

For more information, visit swd.nd.edu.

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127, eblasko@nd.edu