Community shoots for third Food Fight title

By Heidi Kronaizl News Editor

Fans and fundraisers hope that the third time is the charm, as they look to clinch the Summit League Food Fight title after winning the contest two times.  

The Food Fight started Feb. 1, and continues on through Saturday, finishing the contest during the women’s basketball game against Western Illinois. Each school within the Summit League is given two weeks to raise funds for local food pantries. A week is given per home event hosted.

To donate to the Food Fight, non-perishable food items along with cash donations can be given to help out the cause. Items can be donated at an athletic event or at the ticket office located in Frost Arena. 

“Generally speaking, our basketball games tend to bring in the biggest profits … one of the most effective ways that fans are able to help,” said Jennifer Sell assistant athletic director of academics. 

“… We’re trying to at least reach if not pass what we did last year, and hopefully come out on top.”

The Food Fight has given South Dakota State two titles in 2010 and 2013. Last year’s winning total was 22,546 pounds. The Summit League Food Fight started in April 2009 as a community service project created by the league’s Student-Activity Advisory Committee. Different from last year, the SAAC created a subcommittee for the Food Fight.

“It [the sub committee] helped gain a little more focus and a broader game plan,” Sell said.

When collecting donations, the food is weighed in units of pounds and tabulated throughout the contest. With cash donations, every $5 is considered 13 pounds of food, for an estimate of five meals to feed a family that is going hungry. 

 “Last week we went to Medary and Hillcrest Elementary schools and we weighed 3,500 pounds of food,” Sell said.

Students on campus are currently tabling in The Union to help collect for the cause. At the booth, Summit League T-Shirts are being sold and a $50 Buffalo Wild Wings gift basket is being raffled off. Those who donate may receive a 15 percent discount to the University Bookstore if they donate at least $10.


 Students can donate with hobo dough during the Saturday women’s game.

Area businesses are contributing to the cause on top of students, locals and fans. Buffalo Wild Wings has donated a gift basket and a percentage of the profits from Feb. 4. Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill donated $1 for every item ordered on Feb. 10. 

“We ended up rounding up the total to $300,” said Jeremy Deutsch, a manager at Cubby’s. “We [Cubby’s] couldn’t promote it because student athletes were involved, but they [the athletes] did a great job [promoting]. It’s good to work with campus and athletes to support a good cause.”

Other local businesses such as Taco John’s, Qdoba and Papa John’s have collection jars for cash donations. All proceeds from the Food Fights will be donated to the Brookings food pantry.

After starting the fundraiser, Sell said she didn’t want to release the amount of food that has been fundraised so far.

“We are happy with how we are doing. We really appreciate the community support,” Sell said. “It’s nice that South Dakota State can capture that title and help out those that are hungry.”