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Friday, March 31, 2023

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Monetary and online donations and food dropped off in bins are among the ways to help during this year's Aztecs Rock Hunger food drive.

Aztecs Ready to Rock Hunger

A kickoff event in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union is scheduled for Tuesday, October 22 at 9 a.m.
By Olivia Li

San Diego State University’s annual Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign is underway and runs through Nov. 10. This year, the goal is to raise 619,000 pounds of food for the 6-1-9, a play on San Diego County’s primary area code.

Led by Associated Students, Aztecs Rock Hunger collects non-perishable food and monetary donations for The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. Last year, the campaign raised more than 590,000 pounds from students, faculty and staff. 

“We’re really trying to do our best to focus on the community aspect,” said A.S. Vice President of Financial Affairs Dustin Adkins. “Everything we are doing – even down to the numerical goal – is based around the community. That’s why we chose 619,000 pounds because we didn’t want it to just be another number, but something we could tie back into San Diego and San Diego State.”

Students recognize the need in the community and on campus, which drives their passion for Aztecs Rock Hunger.

In San Diego, “One in five children and one is seven adults  are food insecure,” said Chelsey Crowne, public relations officer for the campaign. “That is a really significant amount, especially when you take into perspective how many people live in San Diego. One in five is six kids in the average elementary school classroom. When you think about it that way, it’s really heartbreaking because kids are the future.”

Every $1 donated can provide 6 pounds of food. A portion of the food donated also stays on campus to help supply the A.S. Food Pantry, which supports students facing food insecurity. In the past year, more than 111,000 pounds of food were given to SDSU students through the food pantry as a result of the campaign. Additionally, 20% of monetary donations go toward SDSU’s Economic Crisis Response Team, which aids students facing financial crisis. 

“Students who are using the food pantry may not know where they are getting their next meal or what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Adkins. “This is a crucial service we have on our campus that can help provide a bit of stability in the day-to-day.”

This help extends to the community as Aztecs Rock Hunger has raised more than 2.7 million pounds of food for the Food Bank over the past 10 years.

“We are very grateful to the students, faculty, staff and administration at San Diego State University for supporting the Food Bank through this year’s Aztecs Rock Hunger Food Drive," said San Diego Food Bank President and CEO James Floros. "With the holidays just around the corner, food drive donations will be critical to the Food Bank since we are currently feeding more than 350,000 people every month in communities throughout the county, including thousands of students through our College Hunger-Relief Program.

“Since the food drive started in 2009, every year, SDSU steps up to the plate and donates hundreds of thousands pounds of food to help us fight hunger in our community," Floros said. "On behalf of the Food Bank’s staff and family of volunteers, we thank everyone at SDSU for giving back to the community and helping our San Diego neighbors in need."

Even the smallest donation can have a big impact. Here are six easy ways to donate :

1. Make a monetary donation:
- Venmo @AztecsRockHunger2019
- Online through the Aztec Proud Campaign
2. All campus Starbucks, eateries, markets and the SDSU Bookstore
3. Aztec Proud events on campus
4. Select SDSU athletic events
5. Place nonperishable food in the red bins throughout campus
6. Donate through local Community Partners