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Wheels Up & Grove Collective Join for Student-Athletes Day of Service

By Anna Belson and Morgan Butz

Hotty Toddy News Interns

Student-athletes from Ole Miss participated in a day of service for the Mid-South Food Bank as part of their NIL partnership with the Grove Collective and Wheels Up at Pine Lake Church.

They distributed meal boxes for families as part of Wheels Up’s Meals Up initiative with Feeding America, which provides donated meals for the local community.

Johnathan McGinty, partner of The Trestle Collective, explained more about Wheels Up and the Mid-South Food Bank.

“Mid-South Food Bank provides food to local agencies and food distribution sites in 31 countries, aiming to eliminate hunger in western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas. Currently, it distributes an average of 4 million meals a month through a network of 400 partner agencies,” he said.

Wheels Up has raised and inspired nearly 95 million meals to Feeding America and will provide additional meals for the local community with Mid-South Food Bank.

The Wheels Up Day of Service is associated with the group Name, Image, Likeness program between The Brandr Group, the Grove Collective and Wheels Up that offers an avenue for Ole Miss student-athletes to give back to their local community.

Jaxon Dart, Ole Miss quarterback, explained that the most rewarding part of the day of service was getting to give back to the community that has supported the Rebels.

“We get so much support from the community showing up to our games and supporting athletics,” Dart said. “This is the smallest way we can give back to them for all that they do for us, and we are very grateful for that.”

Ole Miss Rebels Isaac Ukwu and Monty Montgomery agreed and both said they were grateful to their fans and the local community for the support shown to the Rebels.

“I think it is cool to see people who come to your games who are in line here. It is cool to be able to be more personable with them,” said Sasha Ratliff who is on the Ole Miss Volleyball team.

“It has been great to get out in the community and interact with people and see how much impact we have on their lives,” added softball athlete, Catelyn Riley.

Lauren Hoselton, Director of Communications at the Grove Collective, said that the most special part to her is seeing athletes being able to give back to the community.

“It just shows that they are so much more than just athletes,” she said. “It is a good feeling to know that they care about making Oxford a better place.”

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