WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (December 12, 2011) -- William and Mary athletic teams and the Tribe cheerleaders recently donated over 40 Thanksgiving food baskets to local food pantries in a Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) sponsored drive.

Each team and the cheerleading squad collected canned goods and traditional Thanksgiving fixings, filling large laundry baskets which they delivered to local agencies. In addition, some baskets contained hygiene and diaper products as specifically requested by one agency. One of the agencies receiving the baskets is "FISH", a volunteer food pantry serving hundreds of clients a month by providing emergency food, clothing and transportation services.

Recent economic downtrends have brought a tremendous increase in referral numbers at the agency and make donations such as these vitally important to the organization and its clients. The other agency SAAC partnered with is the Grove Outreach Center, another volunteer agency. Grove Outreach typically serves more than 100 families and individuals in the Grove area of James City County each week. Many clients are elderly, poor or disabled, and they depend on the services of the Outreach Center to help them get by in hard economic times.

The Thanksgiving food basket collection, along with the men's gymnastics team's annual food drive and the SAAC spring food basket delivery, is a tradition of many years standing for the SAAC, as TRIBE athletes continue to show their support in the Williamsburg community.