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The North Carolina football team will offer its 18-wheel equipment truck to take non-perishable food items and supplies across the state to victims of Hurricane Florence, UNC football coach Larry Fedora said Monday.
The university will be accepting donations from the public Tuesday through Friday. On Friday, the truck will deliver the supplies and food to those in need.
“We’re willing to do anything that we can to help anybody in the state right now,” Fedora said.
Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wilmington on Thursday as a Category 1 storm, and has caused tornadoes and flooding throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Seventeen deaths in North Carolina have been reported and 23 people have died due to the storm.
People around North Carolina have evacuated, and many have been unable to get back to their homes. Shelters, including one of UNC’s campus, were set up across the state ahead of the storm.
The football team uses the equipment truck, an 18-wheel tractor trailer, to transport its football equipment to road games. The truck is owned by Marrins Moving Company, one of UNC athletics’ corporate sponsors.
UNC associate athletic director Rick Steinbacher said the idea to use the equipment truck came from a discussion between athletic officials about canceling the Tar Heels’ football game against UCF last week.
“It was coach Fedora’s idea,” Steinbacher said. “He said ‘we got that equipment truck. That thing can deliver a lot of goods and things that people need. We ought to put that thing into action.’”
UNC officials contacted the owners of Marrins to see if they could use the truck to deliver goods, and they said yes.
The university will set up the truck and start taking donations at the Williamson Center parking lot across the street from the Dean Smith Center on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. The university is collecting for water, non-perishable food, canned goods, diapers, flashlights, batteries, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items.
“We’re more worried about what’s going on right now across the state with the people that are being affected by the hurricane,” Fedora said. “That’s really where all of our thoughts need to be. We do have to prepare for a football game this week against Pitt and we will do that, but there are a lot of people out there that are suffering.”
Schedule for donations
Tuesday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. – noon.
Williamson Center: 450 Skipper Bowles Dr., Chapel Hill; the truck will be parked in the Williamson Center parking lot.
What’s being collected
▪ non-perishable food
▪ canned goods
▪ cleaning supplies
▪ personal hygiene items