Record breaking amount of food collected at SOCON for Hoops Against Hunger

For Immediate Release:


(Asheville, NC) Even though the Southern Conference Basketball Championships have concluded for the 2018 season, their mark on our community will continue long after the nets have been taken down and the teams and their legion of fans have returned home.

But it is not just the excitement and dollars that the SOCON once again brought into our community, but their outreach to those in need in our community that sets them apart from any other conference championship.

For the fourth consecutive year, Southern Conference Basketball joined Eblen Charities, Ingles Markets, Arby’s, and the Brumit Restaurant Group in collecting food and cash for the Hoops Against Hunger program which helps ensure that students in our community will have enough to eat while at home during breaks from school.

This year live remotes were held at area Ingle’s and Arby’s and nine team host hotels entered the inaugural Hoops Against Hunger Host Hotel Challenge inviting staff, employees, teams, and guests to join them in fighting children’s hunger in our community. Top honors in the Hotel Challenge went to the Biltmore Park Hilton and the Biltmore Doubletree.

Donations were also collected during the tournament at the US Cellular Center with a $5 discount per ticket being given for anyone bringing food to the sessions. More than 4,000 pounds of food was collected providing more than 3,500 meals.

The food will be distributed to area schools through the Arby’s JoyFull Holidays at Home and the Ingles Food for Thought programs.

“We are honored to once again be working with the Southern Conference, Ingles, Arby’s, the Brumit Restaurant Group, our area hotels, the Asheville-Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, the US Cellular Center, 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. “When you’re hungry, nothing else matters.”

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.

For more information on Hoops Against Hunger please visit