The Fighting Illini will stage a charity drive for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank at Sunday's dual with Purdue.
Dec. 13, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Fighting Illini wrestling team will hold a support drive to benefit the Eastern Illinois Foodbank at Sunday's 1 p.m. dual against Purdue. Fans are encouraged to donate food or funds to assist the foodbank in serving the hungry in 14 counties in Eastern Illinois. Donations will be collected throughout the match at the marketing table at the south end of Huff Hall and admission to the match is free for all fans.
"Our staff decided to do this based on (associate head) coach (Carl) Perry's personal endeavor during the holiday season," head coach Jim Heffernan said. "Carl and his family work along with the assistance and contributions of a lot of other people to sponsor 15 local families every year at this time, in order to make sure these disadvantaged families' needs are met in time for Christmas. Our idea to hold a food drive for Sunday's dual meet with Purdue is a reflection of that. Plus, Jim Hires, the executive director of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, has been a very loyal fan of our team for the past several years and we hope to be able to assist with his cause during the holidays."
Nearly 1 in 5 people in Champaign County live at or below the poverty line and the E.I. Foodbank provided 5.5 million pounds of food to 500,000 people in need last year. The foodbank is especially in need of canned meats, beans, vegetables, fruits and complete meals, boxed meals and peanut butter. The organization also requests monetary donations because it is able to turn $1 into $10 worth of food with its purchasing power.
The No. 9 Illini and No. 21 Boilermakers will square off in Illinois' earliest Big Ten dual since the 1996-97 season when they meet Sunday. Purdue snapped Illinois' 11-match win streak against the Boilers last year with a 25-11 win at Huff Hall on Feb. 18.