USC Athletics Helps Feed the Philippines

    Members of the Athletic Department pack meals for the Philippines.

    Nov. 26, 2013

    By Merrill Balassone

    On the afternoon of November 21st, a seemingly typical Thursday on USC's campus, Athletic Director Pat Haden dressed for work in a suit, tie, and hair-net. At 2:00 PM the staff of his department joined almost a third of the university's student-athletes to pack 40,000 meals for those without food in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda.

    "Our student-athletes do 3,000 hours of community service each year. I'm trying to get to as many events as I can," said Haden while sealing a bag of rice and lentils that will provide relief overseas.

    Former swimmer Fred Uytengsu '83, namesake of the soon-to-open Uytengsu Aquatics Center, helped organize the event with Feeding Children Everywhere, a nonprofit that sends nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals, including lentils, six types of dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt, to people around the world. Uytengsu is president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp., the leading publicly listed consumer foods company in the Philippines, where he lives. His generous donation of $1 million in milk and potable water to the Red Cross inspired the Trojan relief effort.

    Haden, who took a job sealing packages at the end of the assembly line, said he was proud of the turnout -- about 150 student-athletes and 50 athletic department staffers participated in the effort.

    "It really makes you proud to be a Trojan," Haden said.

    Wearing a cardinal hair-net, with bits of lentil stuck to his lapel, Haden backed up those words for the entire Trojan Family.