Food Fight fundraiser erupts between MU, Arkansas

The competition dates line up with men’s basketball game vs. Arkansas

A food fight erupted Wednesday, but this isn’t your typical lunchroom chaos. Sloppy Joes and kickin’ chicken aren’t the ammunition of choice — cans are.

Wednesday marked the beginning of a fundraiser called 2013 Food Fight that pits MU against the University of Arkansas. By donating canned foods and other nonperishable items to Tiger Pantry, students can help earn a victory over the Razorbacks.

Arkansas students will be able to donate to their own food pantry, Full Circle, in order to compete with MU.

Full Circle Food Pantry actually helped establish the foundation for Tiger Pantry when Tiger Pantry Fundraising Coordinator Tim Lewis and founders toured the Arkansas pantry, Lewis said in an email. Full Circle recently celebrated its two-year anniversary.

The brain behind the fundraiser was Lewis, Tiger Pantry Director Paul Haluszczak said in an email. As soon as MU officially announced Arkansas as its Southeastern Conference rival, Lewis came up with the idea of the competition. The fact that he had previously toured Full Circle Food Pantry only added to the excitement, he said.

And it’s no coincidence the Missouri men’s basketball team plays Arkansas on next Tuesday.

“I shot a few emails back and forth with Full Circle Pantry about the idea of hosting this event during the weeks between our men's basketball games and we were able to settle on this date,” Lewis said.

The fundraiser concludes on the night of the game, March 5.

The point system for the competition also resembles that of basketball. Soup, ramen and instant coffee are worth one point; oatmeal, crackers and soap worth two; and canned meat, cereal and fruit worth three. A comprehensive list can be found at the Tiger Pantry website.

Besides imitating basketball, the point system is based on the needs of the pantries and how scarce some items are, Lewis said.

If students want to get involved, the best thing they can do is donate, Lewis said. According to the Food Fight point system, there are more than 20 types of food and toiletries Tiger Pantry will accept, so there’s no shortage of opportunity.

“Spreading the word is also great to allow more students the opportunity of helping fellow students in need,” Lewis said.

Students have the option to donate at six different locations: the Center for Student Involvement, Memorial Student Union Info Desk, Townsend Hall, MU Women’s Center, Registrar’s Office and Cornell Hall.

Once students donate, Tiger Pantry handles the rest, Lewis said.

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