Mike Gunter

Mike Gunter started the Gator’s Canned Good Challenge for Kids, now sponsored by the Athletic Association.

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Mike Gunter

Head of the CLAS

Mike Gunter saw the disappointment in some children’s eyes at the end of the school year. A volunteer football coach at Westwood Middle School, Gunter discovered that these children were worried where their next meal would come from.

“They told me they’d miss the lunches, because they didn’t have anything to eat at home”.

Gunter was taken aback. He had always considered the lack of available food as a
remote problem, and not one you would find in your back yard.

Working with local businesses and the Boys and Girls Club, Gunter developed a plan to tackle the problem, And, as a maintenance mechanic for the Department of Zoology for fourteen years, Gunter knew what group would have the commitment and strength to carry through and make a difference: the Gator Nation.

The local community took the plan to the University Athletic Association, and the student athletes leapt at the chance to help.

Starting this fall, the Gator’s Canned Good Challenge for Kids will ask Florida Gator fans to donate canned foods at all home games. The donated food will be used to create a food pantry that would operate out of the Boys and Girls Club.

“Think how many fans come to each game” Gunter explained. “If only a tenth of them donate food, it will be a tremendous return.”

If the program proves successful, Gunter says he will work to expand the program to include other Florida athletic events. Gunter hopes that the program could then be expanded to include all of the colleges in the SEC.

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