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NC State Wins Third Annual Pantry Bowl

NC State defeated UNC in the third annual pantry bowl.

NC State’s football team cruised to a victory over archrival UNC-Chapel Hill for a third straight season under the lights in Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday night. However, well before the annual grudge match kicked off, a different kind of competition between the two schools was underway. 

Over the week of Nov. 19-26, NC State and UNC squared off in the annual Pantry Bowl, a competition between the two schools to raise funds for NC State’s Feed the Pack Food Pantry and UNC’s Carolina Cupboard. The two schools combined for 2,648 gifts and $199,289.08. 

NC State came out on top in the Pantry Bowl for the second straight year. The Pack racked up 1,634 gifts and a monetary total of $125,162.15. 

“NC State’s a special place and what makes it special is our people,” said NC State Assistant Vice Chancellor and Student Ombuds Mike Giancola. “The level of support from our alumni, faculty and staff and friends of the university speaks to how many people have bought into the vision that nobody at NC State should be food insecure. It’s humbling to see that level of support in such a public way with the Pantry Bowl.” 

NC State’s a special place and what makes it special is our people.

The Pantry Bowl is a contest where everybody wins, with both food pantries benefitting tremendously from the funds raised. Hosting the annual event centered around the rivalry football game raises added awareness – and ups the spirit of competition. 

“Anytime you have an opportunity to raise awareness about something as important as food insecurity, it’s a great opportunity,” Giancola said. “It’s an added benefit when you can tap into the rivalry with UNC and to be able to say that we won both on and off the field gives our community even more to celebrate.”

NC State’s total monetary donation for Feed the Pack has continued to rise each year of the Pantry Bowl. The donation total from this year’s Pantry Bowl will fund Feed the Pack’s entire annual operating budget, not including staff wages. 

Brian Mathis, NC State’s associate director of Student Leadership and Engagement, said that the Pantry Bowl is often the first time Wolfpack supporters learn about the food pantry and how many students use this vital resource.

“I think it continues to show that we have a great base of support here at NC State among the fans, the community and the alumni,” Mathis said. “They really believe in the work we’re doing in the Pack Essentials Hub and Feed the Pack Food Pantry.” 

The first Pantry Bowl saw the most significant fundraising in program history for the Carolina Cupboard. 

“I’m also very thrilled for Chapel Hill, because it has allowed them to expand their services,” Mathis said. 

Because NC State exceeded last year’s gift total (1,128), Feed the Pack also received a matching grant donation of $15,000 from alumni TJ (‘98), a member of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) Board for Student Success and Erin (‘99) Trantham. 

“This is another great example of how our DASA Board for Student Success members are continuing to pour in their support to the NC State student body,” Mathis said. “They’re truly committed to the success of our students at NC State, and I think that’s very special.” 

Monetary gifts to Feed the Pack help support partnership and food costs, personnel costs, pantry supplies and equipment, training and community programming, and marketing efforts.

“The success of the Pantry Bowl will also allow us to expand our efforts to offer fresh produce, hygiene products, and culturally relevant foods,” Mathis added.

Although the final buzzer has sounded on this year’s competition, NC State students, staff, faculty, alums and the community can still support Feed the Pack year-round. Learn how you can help by visiting