U expects win over BYU in food drive

U students are ending the 12th annual U versus Brigham Young University food drive confident the U will beat out the competition.

For the past three years, the Utes have dominated the food drive and this year is no exception, according to Laura Bitner, service director for the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

The U collected more than $20,000 worth of food during the event last year and Bitner said this year should bring in an even larger donation.

The Food Drive started Nov. 8 according to Project Director Liz Bitner, Laura Bitner’s sister, and is scheduled to end when the Utes take on the BYU football team Saturday.

Proceeds raised from the competition so far, including more than $6,000 from Del Taco, will go to benefit food banks throughout Utah, according to Laura Bitner.

“As sponsor for the event, students can go into Del Taco and order stuff for just $1 and choose what school they want to contribute to, either the Y or U,” Laura Bitner said.

Laura Bitner added because they have not collected food from the LDS Institute of Religion and other places around campus, the total amount of food donated so far is unknown.

“We do not know how much food has been donated as of now because we have not emptied all the bins around campus yet,” Laura Bitner said.

Collection boxes were set out around campus and at local grocery stores so students could donate food and money to the competition.

“This is not just a U event,” Liz Bitner said. “It is community-wide.”

Laura Bitner added that the food drive is a tradition and is a great way to start the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The U has been participating in the event for the past 15 years, I think,” she said. “It is a great way to get students motivated and excited for the game.”

Liz Bitner said the project team expects to collect several tons of food and even more donations from Del Taco before the end of the food drive.

“It has been really fun and we hope students will go out before the game and donate to help the Utes win,” she said. However, Liz Bitner added that winning the competition is not what the drive is really about.

“There are a lot of people that need food this time of year,” she said. “We are here to make sure they have what they need.”

Liz Bitner said she feels the project could be even more successful next year if there is more involvement from students and the community.

“It is an amazing project that could benefit a lot of people,” she said. “I hope that students will want to help even more next year.”

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