The Southern Conference has been known for decades for their high academic standards, tremendous faculty, staff, and their nationally recognized athletic teams.
And once again, SOCON is bringing their highly contested conference basketball championships to Asheville this March, not only to bring excitement and a top level of competition of the men’s and women’s to the US Cellular Center and eventually crowning their respective champions, but to also show what true champions they truly are.
For the third consecutive year, Sothern Conference Basketball will be Joining in joining Eblen Charities, Ingles Markets, Arby’s, and the Brumit Restaurant Group in collecting food for the Hoops Against Hunger program.
Teams throughout the conference will be collecting food during their games this season with the food being brought to the tournaments to thank our community for hosting the championships.
Food will also be collected during the tournament on March 2nd-6th at the US Cellular Center with a $5 discount per ticket being given for anyone bringing food to the sessions.
The food will then be distributed to area schools through the Arby’s JoyFull Holidays at Home and the Ingles Food for Thought programs.
Founded in 2014, and led by Hoops Against Hunger National Chairman NBA All-Star, broadcaster, and NASCAR team owner, Brad Daugherty along with its companion programs Headlock on Hunger and Huddle Against Hunger have provided nearly 400,000 meals to area students who may be without food at home while away from school.
It is not only the teams of the Southern Conference that is joining the fight and getting in the game. During the past two basketball seasons local high school teams and teams from the Southern Conference designated at least one tournament, or basketball game as Hoops Against Hunger night and collected food and cash donations for our student hunger programs.
Buffalo Wild Wings in Ashevillle has also joined the fight against children’s hunger by generously giving a 10% discount to all who visit their restaurant on Tunnel Road and show their ticket stub.
The Biltmore Hilton, host hotel to the University of Tennessee- Chatanooga is also collecting food this week as is all area Arby’s restaurants.
“We are honored to once again be working with the Southern Conference, Ingles, Arby’s, the Brumit Restaurant Group, the Biltmore Hilton, the Asheville-Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, Buffalo Wild Wings, and everyone who has joined us in making sure that no child in our community goes hungry,” states Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities.
“We know that when you’re hungry, nothing else matters. You’re not able to study. You’re not able to think. You’re not able to have a regular academic career because you have a secret; you know you’re different from some of the other students who do have enough food at home.”
According to the USDA 16 million children live in households that do not have an adequate supply of food, and almost 3 million of these children live in households that experience hunger. Research indicates that hungry children do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they are not well prepared for school and cannot concentrate. More than 50% of students in Buncombe County Schools participate in the free or reduced lunch programs.