Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Greek program donates leftover stadium food

A new philanthropy initiative called Fifth Quarter hopes to collect over 12,000 pounds of food from Bryant Denny Stadium before the end of football season, according to Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity President Burnham Hawk.

“After the Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss home games, a total of 2,186 pounds of food have been taken from the stadium to the West Alabama Food Bank truck,” Hawk said.

This project started when Dean Azar, father of Phi Gamma Delta member Joe Azar, noticed food being thrown in garbage cans after the third quarter. He contacted both his son’s fraternity and his wife’s sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, to see if they would be interested in helping change this.

With the help of Azar, both greek organizations partnered with the director of Crimson Tide Hospitality Jill Bender and West Alabama Food Bank Executive Director Henry Lipsey to make this idea a reality, Alpha Gamma Delta President Lissa Handley Tyson said.

“Jill Bender, the University and Henry Lispey have been crucial in making this process come together,” Tyson said. “At the end of every third quarter 10 Alpha Gams and 10 Phi Gams come to a room that has been specially set up to collect the leftover food from the North and South sides of the stadium.”

While the executive chefs try very hard to prepare the right amount of food, unused food has always been emptied from pans into the trash in order to get the kitchen ready for future games. Now the food goes to people in need and lives have been impacted, Bender said.

“I’ll be honest, I was skeptical at first, wondering if the support would be there to make it come to fruition, let alone continue,” Bender said. “Because Dean Azar had the passion and desire to ask questions, do the leg work and connect people, the Fifth Quarter was born.”

The University has been so pleased with all of the progress that after the most recent home game against Mississippi State they set up an additional room in the South end zone so Fifth Quarter could collect food from the entire stadium besides the concession stands, Tyson said.

“We can use anything that hasn’t been served,” Hawk said. “In the designated areas of the stadium, the members transfer food from hard pans to disposable aluminum pans and roll bins outside to the West Alabama Food Bank truck.”

To further protect the quality, food that needs to be refrigerated is stored in airtight containers and put under blankets that trap heat.

“The food is then distributed to agencies and non-profits throughout west Alabama that feed people every day such as soup kitchens, halfway houses, drug rehab centers and group homes for the elderly,” Tyson said.

According to West Alabama Food Bank’s website, they have distributed over 17 million pounds of food to households in need through their network of 65 agencies in the past 21 years.

Cassie Lamprinakos, a junior majoring in marketing, could not believe the amount of food the University has thrown away in the past.

“We really don’t realize how much food goes to waste and how easy it is to donate it to people in need,” Lamprinakos said. “I’m glad someone is taking the initiative to do something because it will benefit so many people and it can serve as a template for other SEC schools with equally as large game day programs.”


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