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SD College Basketball Fans Helping With Hunger

South Dakota college basketball fans are helping local teams earn the most food donations. (iStockphoto)
South Dakota college basketball fans are helping local teams earn the most food donations. (iStockphoto)
March 7, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - College basketball fans have one more day to help fight hunger in South Dakota as part of an annual food drive.

The Summit League Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament ends Tuesday and fans are being asked to bring 10 non-perishable food items or donate at least $10.

Then they will earn a chance to win VIP access to next year's tournament.

Jennifer Stensaas, development associate of Feeding South Dakota, says it's an easy and fun way for sports fans to help their fellow South Dakotans.

"It's the Summit League's idea, and they have invited us to the tournament for the past six years," Stensaas says. "And it really is a great opportunity for us to spread the awareness of the issue of hunger to all of those that are visiting the tournament."

The food drive items and donations will go to help the Sioux Falls Food Pantry. Stensaas says last year Feeding South Dakota helped distribute more than 12 million pounds of food.

The donation drive is part of the Summit League's 18 "Food Fight" games that were part of the state college basketball season.

The school that brings in the most pounds of donated food will earn The Summit League Food Fight trophy. Stensaas says no matter who wins, anyone who donates should feel proud to help.

"Being able to provide a meal has become harder for a lot of our families," she says. "And we're there for a resource for them to come to us in times of need for food assistance and we'll just keep doing our best to meet that need."

Last year, South Dakota State was crowned the winner for collecting more than 34,000 pounds of food. The Food Fight donation drive ends Tuesday.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - SD