Each year, the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama continues. Homes stand divided while fans from both sides anticipate the annual Iron Bowl to kickoff every Saturday after Thanksgiving.
While this year’s attendance at the game may be smaller due to social distancing guidelines and many fans will not be able to travel to Tuscaloosa for tailgating activities, there is one way that Auburn fans can keep the tradition alive — all while promoting an even better cause.
The 2020 Beat Bama Food kicked off in October and has now entered its final week with the last day to "Beat Bama" on Thursday.
For the past 26 years, Auburn University and the University of Alabama have competed with each other prior to the football game to see who could raise the most food for their local food bank. It began as a relatively small-scale event and has grown to become one of the largest food drives in the state. Last year, Alabama took the win with 278,788 pounds of donated foods compared to 229,361 pounds for Auburn.
While Taylor Pierce, president of the 2020 Beat Bama Food Drive, won’t disclose an early victory for Auburn just yet, she is more than excited to announce the turnout from Auburn citizens and students for this year’s drive.
“We kind of knew coming in that we would be seeing less donations than year’s past,” Pierce said. “With Covid happening, so many more families are living in food insecure households so we are just happy we were able to help.
“No matter how big or small, any help we received was more than we had the day before.”
The Beat Bama Food Drive is a student-led organization that holds an annual food drive every fall for the Food Bank of East Alabama in competition with the University of Alabama’s Beat Auburn Beat Hunger for the West Alabama Food Bank. Starting in 1994, the drive has since become a way for campus to give back to the community.
While the competition is primarily a student-organized activity, according to Pierce, the drive is also strongly supported by the local community, with food drives at many local businesses and public schools.
“Citizens of Auburn are more than welcome to participate in the drive,” Pierce said. “Donations can be dropped off at a few different locations around town.”
Donated food will be used to help the food bank’s senior programs, soup kitchens, emergency food pantries, missions and rehabilitation centers that are served by the Food Bank of East Alabama and the West Alabama Food Bank.
““I can’t express enough what a good feeling it is to give back,” Pierce said. “This is already the season for giving but it makes it even more fun with a little dose of rivalry.
“Community is so important and at times like this, it’s all we have.”
Barrel locations for donations
Kroger – 300 N. Dean Road, Auburn
Winn Dixie – 1617 S. College Street, Auburn
Community Market – 3798 Pepperell Pkwy, Opelika
Food Bank of East Alabama – 355 Industry Drive, Auburn
Numerous locations on the campus of Auburn University
Make Your Move Performing Arts – 1220 Fox Run Ave #212, Opelika
Praise 88.7 WELL FM – 2101 Executive Park Drive Ste 103, Opelika
Club Pilates – 2311 Bent Creek Road Ste 600, Auburn
Ace Hardware – 2101 E University Drive, Auburn
Auburn Therapy and Learning Center – 2408 E University Drive Ste 109, Auburn