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Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Since 2010, SDSU's Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign has raised 3.3 million pounds of food for the San Diego Food Bank.
 


Now More Than Ever: Aztecs Rock Hunger Returns in Virtual Format

The annual campaign begins Sept. 28 and hopes to raise 650,000 pounds of food through non-perishable food and monetary donations.
By Ryan Schuler
 

“Now more than ever, this campaign can make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

Due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, San Diego State University’s Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign is returning this fall in a virtual format to combat food insecurity on campus and across San Diego County. 

The universitywide campaign, led by SDSU Associated Students (A.S.), takes place Sept. 28 through Oct. 18 and works in partnership with The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank

According to the 2019 San Diego County Food Insecurity Report, of San Diego County’s 3.2 million residents, 450,000 people face food insecurity every day. Of this number, 177,000 are children.

The pandemic has increased the demand for food distribution. Prior to the pandemic, the San Diego Food Bank served 350,000 people each month. Since March, the number of people served monthly has spiked to an estimated 600,000.

“Food insecurity is an issue that’s extremely prevalent not only on college campuses but also in our San Diego community,” said A.S. Vice President of Financial Affairs Victor Penera. “The pandemic has highlighted that food insecurity is not an issue unique to one demographic. It affects all of us.”

Since 2010, Aztecs Rock Hunger has raised 3.3 million pounds of food for the San Diego Food Bank. This year, the campaign hopes to raise 650,000 pounds of food through non-perishable food and monetary donations. Every $1 donation can purchase six pounds of food.

“On behalf of the San Diego Food Bank’s staff, board of directors and family of volunteers, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to San Diego State University’s students, faculty, alumni, and staff who are joining together to collect virtual food and monetary donations for the Food Bank’s hunger-relief programs, said Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank President and CEO James Floros. “All food collected will provide food assistance to economically distressed families, students and seniors impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. On behalf of those we serve, we honor this amazing decade-long partnership with SDSU and its support for our vital mission in the community.”
 
Aztecs Rock Hunger also assists SDSU students, with 20% of the monetary donations going directly to SDSU's Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT). The ECRT uses the donations to provide short-term and long-term aid to students experiencing a crisis, including food insecurity. In fall 2019, the ECRT served about 200 students. Last spring, the team served 1,200 students.

Additionally, the food and monetary donations collected through the campaign provides the food, including fresh produce for the A.S. Food Pantry, which gives out an average of 100,000 lbs. of food each year to SDSU students. 

“Aztecs Rock Hunger is the epitome of what SDSU stands for and what drew me to this campus: diversity and people from all backgrounds united through the one common goal of serving others,” said Penera.

The primarily virtual campaign offers three ways to donate:
  1. Donate online at sdsu.edu/aztecsrockhunger
  2. Venmo @aztecsrockhunger2020
  3. At SDSU campus Starbucks, eateries and markets
In addition, several new events will be offered to increase participation during the campaign. The Aztecs Rock Hunger Virtual 5K will take place between Oct. 10-18. Participants may also donate at local businesses in the College Area.

Penera added: “Now more than ever, this campaign can make a difference in the lives of so many people.”