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Eastern athletes reach out with canned food drive

On Feb. 14, Eastern Athletics helped show some love to the community. The athletic department organized a canned food drive at the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader Saturday afternoon. One or two cans of non-perishable goods would earn a person free entrance to the event.

The athletic department teamed up with City Team Ministries, a non-profit organization that works with the poor and homeless.

“With this economy and the state of American families, it was great to see the Eastern Community step up,” senior Ben Cressy said.

Donations brought to the doubleheader only represented half of the food Eastern Athletics collected. Representatives from different teams went door-to-door in Radnor Township asking for donations that would benefit City Team.

The door-to-door portion of the event was planned by Camrin Azzarano, coordinator of community outreach and head coach for the field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams.

“Being blessed to live in an affluent area and knowing the severe poverty that is only 20 minutes away inspired us to help,” Azzarano said.

Athletes were broken into teams and given maps of specific neighborhoods a week before Feb. 14. It was their responsibility to go to those areas and collect non-perishable items before the basketball games.

City Team Ministries’ Philadelphia branch is located in Chester, Pa. City Team Ministries runs a variety of programs to help those in need.

“This time of year, specifically after the holidays, is a time when organizations like City Team need to restock their food pantries,” Athletic Director Mark Wagner said in an email.

City Team also offers drug and alcohol recovery programs.

Eastern filled approximately six 55-gallon barrels of non-perishable goods as the men’s basketball team upset top-ranked DeSales University. Any money collected that night was also donated to City Team.

“The food drive was highly successful, and we are grateful to Eastern’s student-athletes for volunteering their time to help others in need,” Wagner said.

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