Clemson, Ohio State come together to volunteer at St. Mary's Food Bank before Fiesta Bowl
PHOENIX - A sea of orange and red -- Ohio State and Clemson Universities are putting their rivalry aside to give back to the community and fight hunger.
"Today, the enemy is hunger. We are on the same team," said Michael Clark, president of The Ohio State University.
Clark says making a difference is what it's all about. Both Ohio State and Clemson Universities make it a point to visit non-profits, like St. Mary's Food Bank, when they're playing.
"This is a great collaboration and partnership with Ohio State and it is about giving back to the community and service-learning," said Almeda Jacks, assistant to the president of Clemson University.
"We get them to kind of work together. We don't have The Ohio State on one side and Clemson on the other -- we mix everybody up, they get to know each other a little bit and work together on one thing before they go after each other tomorrow night," Jerry Brown said.
Coaching staff, students, alumni and university leaders from both sides are working side-by-side building emergency food boxes.
"One of the things we look forward to most during bowl season is a chance to go into the community that we are visiting and actually do something that leaves a lasting impact for people who might not be in the spotlight," Clark said.
"It is giving back and knowing that regardless of whether you are making boxes, whether you are doing the food on the shelves -- it doesn't really matter you're giving back to the people that need this and we have been blessed and this is a way of giving back," Jacks said.
The boxes, thousands of them, are filled with staples like cereal, pasta and peanut butter.
"We're going to be closed for a couple of days, so we won't have as many volunteer shifts this week, so having more than 300 volunteers all at one time -- this will help us make up the slack," Brown said.
The emergency food kits built by both teams at St. Mary's will last just a couple of days.