Nov. 2, 2010
Wisconsin redshirt junior Michele Dalton talked about the annual food drive, the "Red and White Hunger Fight" at the weekly news conference on Monday.
BRIAN LUCAS: Wisconsin goalkeeper Michele Dalton is here to talk about the Red and White Hunger Fight. This campus-wide food drive runs through November 17th this year. It’s in its third year. The Red and White Hunger Fight has collected over 6.5 tons of food, and more than $3,500. A number of UW athletic teams are participating this year, and all the proceeds will be donated to the Community Action Coalition. Michelle, I believe, has some opening comments, and then can take some questions.
MICHELLE DALTON: Thank you, Brian. As you said, we’ve collected over, it’s actually up to $4,000 since our beginning year, and over 6.5 tons of food. Approximately 75 student organizations participate annually. And this year, it has grown again.
As you said, today’s the kick-off. We’re going through, collecting food and money through the 15th of November, and on the 17th, we’re having what’s called our Big Day where all the athletes and all the student organizations come together to help sort the food that we’ve collected.
Homecoming is pretty much an extension of the Red and White Hunger Fight, and they collected over 3,000 pounds this year. So we’re expecting to almost double that with the Athletic Department participation. So we’re really excited about that.
This year, the winning organization, thanks to the Athletic Department, will received tickets to the Men’s Basketball game on December 1st, and the opportunity to go on the court and participate in a recognition ceremony. As Brian said, over 21 teams, athletic teams, this year are participating, which is really cool. We’re trying to involve the Athletic Department more and more each year. So with continued participation, this will only continue to grow through the years.
We’re working with four other groups on campus, the Morgridge Center is sort or our campus connection. They continue to bring in the community and the campus support so it’s not just an athletic event.
WISPIRG is also involved. They’re sort of the hunger and homelessness portion of the event. They have an event coming up at the Union, which you can receive more information about on our website. There will be a link on uwbadgers for anybody that’s interested.
The Morgridge Center, as I said, is our connection to campus, and they’ve been sending out regular e-mails to everybody informing them. And I think it’s important for the community to know that next weekend, on November 7th, we’ll be going around to the Madison community, to homes, delivering bags, and we’ll return on the 14th to pick up any food anybody leaves out for us, which is really cool. Last year, the women’s soccer team did it, and we got over a thousand pounds of food, which is really cool.
And the CAC is our beneficiary. All of the money and food goes to benefit them to help needy families in Madison, especially around Thanksgiving, you know, when food, the food supply diminishes.
Obviously, our goals are to continue collecting food, get more and more each year, more and more money, and just grow off of it and build from there.
QUESTION #1: Do you have goals set for what you’re trying to accomplish each year? And have you met those in previous years?
DALTON: Well, yeah. Our first year, obviously, we didn’t know where to go or how much food or money we would collect. So we pretty much just build off of the previous year and try and set higher goals for ourselves. The 6.5 tons of food that we’ve collected so far, you know, we want to continue building off of that as well as money. It becomes harder and harder I think each year to receive donations, both food and money, as the economy is sort of suffering and people are feeling the backlash from that.
So, like I said, I think this year we have already 3,000 pounds of food. I’d like to see over 6,000 pounds. Just from the Athletic Department standpoint, I think it’s very doable for the athletic teams to get over 3,000 pounds.
And WISPIRG with the fundraising, just giving them the freedom to come up with fundraising ideas, and let them go and try to collect as much money as possible. I’m sure they’re doing a pretty good job with that.
QUESTION #2: Students are busy, student athletes are even busier with their time. What’s the reaction you’ve been when you go around to the other teams, the other athletes, and try to get more and more people involved in all of this, in seeing what their reaction is to working with you?
DALTON: They think I’m crazy. But this is something I’m passionate about, and I think the student athletes this year, with the amount of participation that we have, I think they’re going to begin to see that this is a really, really cool thing. And it’s really fun to do with your team, to get out there in the community and get involved.
I know a lot student athletes do community service, but I think in a lot of ways we’re just not really sure how to get out there sometimes. So I think this is a really good outlet for athletes to get out in the community and do something good. And I think we enjoy it. I think I can speak for every student athlete and say that that’s part of the, one of the good things about being a Badger athletic participant is that you’re out in the community and people see you, and it’s a really cool thing, especially if you’re doing something to help everyone.