In this present climate with the region recovering from the effects of natural disasters and pandemics, part of the mission for Tennessee Tech’s student-athletes is to give back to their community.
Essential to that mission is the Anna Cooper’s Backpack Buddies initiative, named after the former Golden Eagle track and field and cross country student-athlete who helped initiate the program during the 2016-17 year and has been a vital part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s outreach efforts.
Cooper, a nutrition major in her days at Tech, started the project after seeing food insecurity in the Upper Cumberland area. She passed away after a battle with cancer in June 2019 and the program was rededicated in her honor.
On Thursday, 360 bags of nutritious snack options were created by SAAC members and will be distributed to children and their families during this time of need.
“This is such an important time for this program as there have been so many families in this area that have been affected by the events of the last seven months,” said Mandy Thatcher, Tech assistant athletics director for compliance and SAAC advisor. “To serve those in need in the community and continue Anna’s quest are tasks all of our student-athletes take pride in.”