COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri has become the Official Charitable Partner of University of Missouri Athletics.
The partnership expands Missouri Tigers Score Against Hunger, a 22-year old campaign under the helm of the MU Football Program.
"We are thrilled to build upon the longtime relationship we have enjoyed with Mizzou Athletics," said Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank. "The university does so much for us throughout the year, this agreement really reflects on MU's commitment to giving back to those in need in our community."
Missouri Tigers Score Against Hunger began in 1995 under then Head Coach Larry Smith and continued under former Coach Gary Pinkel. New Head Coach Barry Odom has expressed his commitment to carrying on its success.
The campaign encourages sponsorships and outright gifts, but also challenges individuals to pledge a dollar amount to The Food Bank for every point the Tigers score during the season.
Since its inception, Score Against Hunger has brought in more than $9 million in outright gifts, in-kind donations and sponsorships, all of which has gone into the acquisition and distribution of food to those in need. The campaign has also become The Food Bank's largest annual fundraising effort.
This year, Score will also be held throughout The Food Bank's 32-county service area for the first time. For its designation as Mizzou Athletics' official charitable partner, The Food Bank teamed with Learfield's local Mizzou Sports Properties team to coordinate efforts on behalf of the athletic department. Learfield is University of Missouri's long-time athletics multimedia rights and sponsorship partner.
"It's a pleasure to work closely with The Food Bank and help support this outstanding effort all of us are capable of backing," said Mizzou Sports Properties General Manager Nick Garner. "It is affirming to see the growth and major strides this campaign has made in its 22 years with the Tigers, and we look forward to continued success."
"Becoming Mizzou Athletics' official charity signifies a new era for the Score campaign," Lopez said. "We certainly know there are Tigers fans throughout our 32 counties, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to be part of the team's fundraising efforts."