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Project Feed Me hosts third annual charity basketball tournament Nov. 13 to fight hunger
On Saturday, Nov. 13, SU students, faculty and staff will compete for the title of champion in the 2010 “Defend Your Honor” basketball tournament. The event is organized by Project Feed Me, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the problem of hunger in New York state. The tournament will take place from 3-8 p.m. in Archbold Gymnasium on the Syracuse University campus.
In its third year, “Defend Your Honor” is organized to raise money to purchase food that will be served at two Thanksgiving unity celebrations, the first on Nov. 14 at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Syracuse, and the second on Nov. 20 at Hopps Memorial CME Church. Project Feed Me will also donate food to two shelters in the Syracuse area for the holiday season.
“Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time of year to spend time with family and friends to celebrate with a great, big meal,” says Patrick Alvarez, Project Feed Me president. “But for some people right here in our community, that kind of Thanksgiving is just a dream because they can’t afford decent meals on a daily basis, let alone a big Thanksgiving dinner. This is an opportunity to make sure more people in our area can have a warm, happy Thanksgiving.”
Project Feed Me was started in 2008 by four Syracuse University first-year students: Alvarez, of Bronx, N.Y.; Sam Giber, of Boston; Leah Moushey, of Pittsburgh; and Harris Feldman, of Needham, Mass. The four met the first week of school in Day Hall and discovered their common interest in activism and philanthropy. They quickly got to work on what would become Project Feed Me’s first event–-a turkey giveaway in Harlem in 2008. Together, with help from friends and family, they provided frozen turkeys to more than 100 families.
Last year, Project Feed Me was able to feed 350-400 families from the Syracuse community, in part through the $1,000 raised from last year’s basketball tournament.
This year, Project Feed Me has set its sights even higher, aiming to provide 500 nutritious meals to guests at its Syracuse Thanksgiving events. Another event in Harlem is also planned for this year.
Not only does Project Feed Me want to nourish bodies, it hopes to bring a sense of unity, love and trust to those who attend the event. “Lots of people in our communities have not felt unity, love and trust in a long time, because their environment has been so impacted by things like poverty, violence and drugs,” says Alvarez. “I hope we can change that, even for a few hours.”
Project Feed Me welcomes volunteers and donations for both the basketball tournament and the organization’s upcoming charitable events. For information, contact Alvarez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view a video about Project Feed Me’s efforts in 2009, visit: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/11/28/nyregion/1247465893920/neediest-project-feed-me.html?ref=neediestcases