Hoops for Hunger helps heal food insecurity

Hoops for Hunger will be held during the Pepsi Christmas Classic Tournament on Dec. 6-7 at the Bob Kirk Arena. The Trojans basketball members include, from the left, Jalen Jacox, Derrick Dixon, Brandon Hodge, Mikkah Tobias, Peter Harrison, Imhotep George, O’Bray Rufus, Max Barrett, Jamal Simon, E’Mari Johnson, Richard Dudley, Justin Copman and Savon Atkins. 

CUMBERLAND — Members of Allegany College of Maryland’s men’s basketball team are teaming up with The Pantry at ACM and the Western Maryland Food Bank for Hoops for Hunger, a food drive to help college students and community members who are struggling with food insecurity.

Fans at ACM’s annual Pepsi Christmas Classic, a special four-team tournament held from Dec. 6-7, are asked to bring three nonperishable food items each day to cover their cost of admission. Donations and proceeds from Hoops for Hunger raffle baskets will be split between ACM’s The Pantry and the Western Maryland Food Bank to combat regional hunger.

Tournament action starts at 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Bob Kirk Arena with the Hagerstown Community College Hawks taking on the Community College of Beaver County Titans. At 7 p.m., the Trojans, with the home court advantage, will battle the Statesmen from the Richard Bland College of William & Mary.

On Dec. 7, the Statesmen versus the Hawks at 1 p.m., followed by the Trojans playing the Titans at 3 p.m.

“No individual should have to face the physical and emotional impacts of poverty-associated hunger. The Hoops for Hunger food drive brings awareness to the very real issue of campus hunger and food insecurity experienced by our community. We’re grateful to the Trojans basketball team and look forward to incredible action on the court,” said Amy Moyer, director of the Western Maryland Food Bank.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Household Food Security in the United States in 2018” report, 14.3 million American households were found to have limited or uncertain access to enough food. Many of these households rely on local food banks for support because they do not qualify for federal nutrition programs.

A 2019 “College and University Basic Needs Insecurity: A National #RealCollege Survey” report published by The Hope Center found that two-year college student respondents expressed higher rates of food insecurity than students attending four-year institutions.

The survey also found that American Indian or Alaska Native and black students experienced far higher rates of food insecurity than their Hispanic or Caucasian counterparts. 

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