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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Big Orange Pantry will compete in the second Schools of the Southeastern Conference Food Fight from Friday, April 8, through Thursday, April 21. The donation drive will take place in collaboration with pantries across the SEC to combat food insecurity and support campus community members in need. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the university are all invited to participate.

Each school will assign a point value to items they need most, and the pantry with the most points earned at the end of the competition wins. The Big Orange Pantry will offer points for hygiene products, kitchen supplies, and financial support. Item ideas and drop-off locations can be found on the Big Orange Pantry website.

“The Schools of the SEC Food Fight is an incredibly important time of the year for Big Orange Pantry—this competition allows us to provide a wide variety of items to our students, faculty, and staff,” said Evan Oliver, Big Orange Pantry coordinator. “We welcome all unused and unexpired hygiene and cooking supplies, and we strongly encourage monetary donations to our VOLstarter page. Just a few items or a small monetary donation has a huge impact on the lives of our fellow Vols.”

The donation drive will allow the pantry to expand its offerings beyond meal assistance to include basic need items like cooking utensils, toothpaste, and body wash, among others. Those interested in contributing to the donation drive can drop items off at a designated donation site. Monetary donations can be made through the Big Orange Pantry VOLstarter during the April 8–21 window.

One point will be added to to the Big Orange Pantry’s total in the competition for every dollar collected in monetary donations and for every individually wrapped hygiene or kitchen item donated.

The Big Orange Pantry provides emergency food assistance and other essentials for the UT campus community. The initiative began in the fall of 2020 after studies showed food insecurity and basic need assistance as a growing cause of concern at public higher education campuses across the nation.

The Big Orange Pantry also welcomes volunteer help, with opportunities listed weekly on the Jones Center for Leadership and Service’s Sign Up to Serve Calendar. Contact with any questions.