The Northeast Conference's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee took an even bigger bite out of hunger the second time around.
The second annual NEC SAAC Canned Food Drive competition resulted in the collection of 7,441 non-perishable food items, a 48.7 percent increase from the prior year's total.
Dethroning inaugural champion Saint Francis U, Mount St. Mary's placed first after donating a conference-high 1,402 items to the Emmitsburg (MD) Food Bank.
SAAC leaders at each of the league's 10 core member institutions organized collection efforts on their respective campuses prior to the holiday season and selected local charities as the recipients of the collected items.
Following Mount St. Mary's, Bryant came in second by collecting and donating 1,256 pieces to the Rhode Island Food Bank. Sacred Heart, which sent 1,230 non-perishable food items to St. Charles Parish in Bridgeport (CT), took third place in the league-wide race.
Each of the top-three finishers in this year's NEC SAAC Canned Food Drive competition surpassed the winning total (1,073 items) from the inaugural edition, which unfolded prior to the 2015 holiday season.
The Dorothy Day Outreach Center (Loretto, PA), Project Hospitality (Staten Island NY) and the Bowery Mission (NY) were also amongst the numerous organizations that benefited from the NEC SAAC Canned Food Drive.
The canned food drive competition is only one of the charitable acts that the NEC SAAC organizes on an annual basis. Executive members of the group recently presented a $12,000 check to the Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF) based in New Oxford, PA.
The funds, which raised from the group's annual "Money Wars" Fundraiser, will go to assisting children under age 18 and their families who are facing the hardships of a cancer diagnosis.
The NEC SAAC's community service work fits into the conference's #conNECt campaign. Throughout the academic year, the campaign aims to highlight the "connections" made by NEC student-athletes outside the lines and the good works for which they are responsible.