SOCON Leads the Fight Against Childhood Hunger This March at Championship Tournament

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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 fourth consecutive year, Southern Conference Basketball will be 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 1st-5th 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 Ingle’s Food for Thought and  Arby’s JoyFull Holidays at Home  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.

Local hotels will once again be hosting the SOCON teams and will also collecting food during the tournament along with tournament sponsors Ingles Markets and local Arby’s restaurants.

“The Southern Conference is proud to #jointhefight again this year by participating in Hoops Against Hunger. Childhood hunger does not take a day off when schools are not in session and Hoops Against Hunger is specifically focused on providing food for children at times when other programs aren’t able to provide the critical everyday support that many children depend on. As in past years, we are especially proud to offer fans attending this year’s Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships opportunities to help out either with on-site food donations or cash contributions. Our goal is to make this a record breaking tournament for the Hoops Against Hunger program,” says Geoff Cabe, Senior Associate Director of the Southern Conference.

“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.

“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.

For more information on Hoops Against Hunger please visit www.hoopsagainsthunger.net. For more information on the upcoming Southern Conference Tournaments please visit www.soconsports.com

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