Wake Forest Student-Athletes Lend Helping Hand to Needy
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Jan. 24, 2008

Winston-Salem, N.C. - Most assists from Wake Forest student-athletes come on the field or court of competition but Thursday it was North Carolinians in need on the receiving end of an assist fans won't find in the record books.

About 40 Wake Forest student-athletes representing the dance, volleyball, football and field hockey teams participated in a food distribution project set to benefit 18 Northwest North Carolina counties from Burlington to Boone.

Wake Forest hosted the distribution in collaboration with Lift Up America and Second Harvest Food Bank in the east parking lot of Groves Stadium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The donated food, given by Tyson, totaled 31,000 pounds and took the entire two hour period to load. The food will reach residences, churches and shelters to provide a little extra help in the cold, winter months.

"It feels great," Wake Forest safety Chip Vaughn said. "To be able to help-out families and kids that aren't as well-off as us. To give back gives you a great feeling inside. My parents always told me to help-out friends that don't have it as good as you. It's something that stuck with me."

Second Harvest Food Bank Executive Director Nan Griswold, who graduated from Wake Forest in 1970, said working with Wake Forest student-athletes continues to expand the relationship between the school and her company and, in turn, promotes growth between Wake Forest and the community.

"We've had a long-term relationship with Wake Forest University and its students," Griswold said. "We don't get a lot of donations like this; tractor trailers full of protein products and meat. It will go out to feed so many hungry families whether it's at a soup kitchen or a food pantry. This will really make a difference in so many people's lives."

"It's really awesome to be able to donate food to people who really need it." Dance Team member Krista Moore said. "We're very privileged and it's nice to be able to give back to those who need help."

Lift Up America, based in Los Angeles, coordinates food distributions with teams from the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National Football League, Major League Soccer and 11 NCAA universities.

"These events serve as an empowering method to give help and hope and food to local people that are working with families in need," Regional Coordinator for LUA David Kleinknecht said. "These student-athletes out here today are spending time that they could be using to do a number of other things but they're out here helping us."

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