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USC student-athletes turn out for typhoon relief effort

Merrill Balassoneby Merrill Balassone
Trojans pack meals bound for the Philippines. (Photo/courtesy of USC Athletitcs)
Trojans pack meals bound for the Philippines. (Photo/courtesy of USC Athletitcs)

USC’s student-athletes recently turned their competitive focus to typhoon relief efforts, packing 40,000 meals to be sent to victims in the Philippines.

Former swimmer Fred Uytengsu ’83, namesake of the soon-to-open Uytengsu Aquatics Center, helped organize the Nov. 21 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.

“We want to do something tangible, something other than just cutting a check,” said Matt Ackels, community outreach director for USC Athletics.

Athletic Director Pat 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.

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