The Southern Miss women’s soccer team has partnered with the United Soccer Coaches and other NCAA Division 1 soccer programs across the country to help battle hunger by taking part in Soccer United Against Hunger.
Soccer Against Hunter is a nationwide food drive being hosted by the United Soccer Coaches organization from June 1-30. The Southern Miss program, as well as other Division I programs, will take part by generating donations in their local communities.
Southern Miss will participate in a friendly competition against its fellow Conference USA teams to see who can raise the most money.
“We got an email about it and jumped on board,” Southern Miss assistant coach Carly Mauldin said. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to give back. We are competing with teams within the conference. It’s a friendly competition to help everyone out.”
Leading the team and spearheading Southern Miss’ efforts is senior JoAnnie Ramos.
“The hunger is skyrocketing due to the pandemic with everyone losing their jobs,” Ramos said. “We all have social media platforms, and we aren’t doing much right now.
“I was also telling the team that since we are all over the country, they can host their own personal food drive and then donate it the bulk they have gotten. I’m sure some of the girls will take that initiative in their own local communities.”
According to Mauldin, Ramos’ leadership and initiative have been a massive role in the program’s effort. In the first week, the program raised $185.
“She has been the one leading the team through all of this,” Mauldin said. “She has been sitting in meetings and listening to ideas to generate donations in the community. She is really playing a huge part in this. She introduced it to the team and shared ways to get people to donate. She’s played a huge part in leading our team.”
People can donate to a food bank or food pantry or give a monetary amount. Donations can be given to either soccerunitedagainsthunger.com. If a donation is given on behalf of Southern Miss’ women’s program, donors are asked to email Mauldin at firstname.lastname@example.org and include the name, location of the food pantry or food bank and the amount in either dollars or pounds.