Baylor, UCF Uniting to Pack Meals for the Hungry, Visit Phoenix Children's Hospital

Dec. 20, 2013

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Contacts: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University, 254-709-5959
Chad Binette, University of Central Florida, 407-823-6312
Jerry Brown, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, 602-343-3160

Fans encouraged to sign up for volunteer event at St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix

WACO, Texas (Dec. 20, 2013) - Before they clash in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Baylor University and the University of Central Florida will join together and give back to their host communities in Arizona.

From 10:15 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Dec. 31, members of the two university spirit squads will join with fans from both schools to pack meals for hungry residents. Baylor and UCF fans will work side-by-side at the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance warehouse in Phoenix.

From to 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, other members of the two spirit squads and mascots Bruiser and Knightro will visit Phoenix Children's Hospital, 1919 E. Thomas Rd., to meet with children and their families.

Media are invited to cover both events.

"The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl may be the primary reason we have traveled to Phoenix but it is not the sole reason," said Kevin Jackson, Ph.D., vice president for student life at Baylor. "As Baylor Bears, it is in our DNA to serve others who are in need. It will be especially meaningful to do so alongside UCF fans."

"Serving others is an important part of our UCF culture, whether we are in Orlando or Arizona," said Maribeth Ehasz, UCF's vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services. "We look forward to joining our friends from Baylor to help provide food for families in need and bring smiles to the faces of children who are spending the holidays in the hospital."

St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance - the world's first food bank - distributes emergency food boxes at no cost to individuals and families in need. The boxes are designed to provide temporary food assistance during times of crisis, and recipients include the elderly, children, working families and the homeless.

The food bank event will be held at the St. Mary's warehouse at 2831 N. 31st Ave. in Phoenix, and it will begin with a 10:15 a.m. safety briefing. Participants will pack meals from 10:30 a.m. until noon. The warehouse is only about a 10-minute drive from downtown Phoenix hotels where many fans will be staying.

"We congratulate Baylor and UCF on fantastic seasons and welcome their students, administrators and fans to the Valley of the Sun and the Fiesta Bowl," St. Mary's President and CEO Beverly Damore said. "One in five Arizonans and one in four of our children don't know where their next meals will come from, so we are excited and blessed that Bears and Knights fans have chosen to join us in the fight against hunger in Arizona. Thank you, and we will see you all on Dec. 31 as we work side by side."

UCF and Baylor fans ages 12 and older are invited to participate, and space will be limited to 60 people per school.

Participants must register in advance and can do so by going to http://volunteer.firstfoodbank.org and clicking on Register. After creating a volunteer profile, fans should click "Pick an Opportunity." Scroll down the left side of the page to find "Invitation Code." UCF fans should enter UCF2014 and Baylor fans should enter BU2014. Volunteers will receive a confirmation email afterward.

The food bank will supply all of the food for the boxes. Participants can choose to make a $5 donation to cover the costs of filling one emergency food box. Each box contains the equivalent of a three- to four-day supply of food for a family of four.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

America's Partnership University: The University of Central Florida, the nation's second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation in its first 50 years. Today, the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region's future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation. For more information, visit http://www.ucf.edu.

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