Yellowjacket Athletics has announced it is partnering with Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank for its cause games during the 2018-19 season. Money raised at selected Yellowjacket sporting events will go fight childhood hunger in Superior and Douglas County.

Since adjusting its cause efforts in 2016, Yellowjacket Athletics has donated $2,200 to the Essentia Health Foundation for breast cancer awareness (2017), as well as $5,000 to six different local sports organizations (2018).

"It's very important to our department to be a positive part of the community, and our cause efforts over the past few years have helped us to help a lot of people locally," UW-Superior Athletics Director Nick Bursik said. "We discussed our cause efforts as a staff, and our coaches were nearly unanimous in wanting to do something targeting childhood hunger in the area."

The food insecurity rate in northwest Wisconsin is 12.5 percent, whereas the Wisconsin average is 11 percent. Diving deeper, the food insecurity rate for children in northwest Wisconsin is 20.9 percent, while the state average is 17 percent.

"It's really staggering to see one in five children in northwest Wisconsin are food insecure," Bursik said. "We encourage our spectators coming to our events to please give generously so we can make an even bigger donation at the end of the year and make an impact on our local children."

Each UW-Superior sports team will host a cause game or event during the 2018-19 year. At these events, Yellowjacket Athletics will collect funds and sell apparel, with the proceeds going to Second Harvest Northern Lakes.

The color of the childhood hunger fight is orange. For one game, Yellowjacket sports teams will wear orange jerseys, hats, or warm-up shirts. Apparel will also feature the Yellowjacket Athletics mantra of "We Are Superior," as well as the "Fighting Hunger, Feeding Hope" slogan of the food bank.

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank serves a major part of the region, including St. Louis, Carlton, Lake, and Cook counties in Minnesota and Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland and Iron counties in Wisconsin. Last year, the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank rescued and distributed 5.8 million pounds of food, which translates into 4.7 million meals.

Closer to home, 614,540 pounds of food were distributed in Superior and Douglas County in 2017, creating 492,320 meals.