The University of Richmond men’s basketball team helped collect 216,000 pounds of food for the Federation of Virginia Food Banks when they participated in the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic, said Kathy Erhardt, Director of Development for FeedMore.
On Dec. 22, eight Virginia men’s basketball teams — George Mason University, The University of Richmond, The University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, Hampton University, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University — faced off in a doubleheader at the Richmond Coliseum to benefit the food banks.
The troubled economy had contributed to a great need for food in Virginia, Erhardt said. Nationally, one in seven adults and one in six children do not have a reliable food source on an ongoing basis, Erhardt said.
FeedMore is the core hunger-relief organization for Central Virginia, according to the organization’s website.
“The economy has hit us hard, the need is continuing to rise and resources are being cut,” Erhardt said. “Richmond is fortunate to have a community that supports that need.”
Senior Greg Robbins, a forward on the men’s basketball team, said the event had brought together a group of all Virginia teams, which he said was unique in college basketball.
“The game was a chance to showcase ourselves and gave us a chance to gain respect throughout the state,” Robbins said.
The Spiders played George Mason, and lost 67-64 after a George Mason player scored a three-point shot at the final buzzer, Robbins said.
Fans brought donations of food to the event, and a portion of the ticket sales proceeds also went to the seven Virginia food banks, including Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, Food Bank of the Virginia Peninsula, Capital Area Food Bank and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Erhardt said.
“Seventy-five percent of children in the city of Richmond get free or reduced-price breakfast or lunch because they lack a consistent food source,” Erhardt said. “Events like this help keep our shelf stocked.”
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