Students at Tusculum College are doing what they can to make a difference in the lives of those in need in East Tennessee by sponsoring a food drive to support The Second Harvest Food Bank and the Feeding America program.
“Pioneers Can! – Stack Up Against Hunger” is a program started by Professor Robin Fife’s Service Learning Class. Fife, assistant professor of social sciences, said she is allowing the students to plan, operate and manage every aspect of the campaign. The goal of the students, who kicked off the program on Wednesday, October 27, is to collect 10,000 pounds of food by November 12.
To get to 10,000 pounds, they are asking everyone on and off campus to consider donating at least 10 cans of food to be stacked up in the Pioneer Perk in a giant pyramid. However, donations of any size will be accepted. Anyone wishing to donate canned or boxed goods may do so by dropping them in one of the Second Harvest food collection barrels on campus at the entrances to Virginia and McCormick halls, the Thomas J. Garland Library and in the cafeteria and Pioneer Arena in Niswonger Commons. Donations can also be dropped off at the Center for Civic Advancement at Rankin Hall, Room 203. Cash donations will also be accepted at the Center for Civic Advancement Office.
“We are accepting any canned or boxed items that are sealed and are not past their expiration dates,” said Sarah Moss, a junior from Nashville, Tenn. She added that some of the top items needed are peanut butter, cereal, macaroni and cheese as well as baby food and diapers. Also in high demand are canned meats, vegetables and fruits.
Students will also be accepting donations from the community at several special events schedule for campus during the campaign. Collections will be taken on Friday, October 29, at the Tusculum volleyball game at 7 p.m.; on Saturday, October 30, at the football game at 1:30, the women’s soccer game at 6 p.m. and at the men’s soccer game at 8 p.m., and on Nov. 5-7 at productions of “The King and I” at Annie Hogan Byrd auditorium.
”These students are very capable and they are realizing what’s involved in pulling something like this together. They are learning and at the same time helping people in our regional who are in need,” said Fife.
America’s Second Harvest is the United States’ largest domestic hunger relief organization, with a network of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue programs. The regional Food Bank serves 250 agencies in Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. Their vision is that no one goes hungry because they do not have access to food.
“All of the food goes back to the Second Harvest Food Bank and is used to serve only those in East Tennessee and especially Greene County,” said Dustin Collins, a senior psychology major from Bluff City, Tenn. “If you need help, they are there to help you without discrimination of age, sex, race or circumstance.” He added, “10 cans really can make a difference right here at home.”
According to Fife, part of the very mission of Tusculum College is serving the communities and others in need and learning to be servant leaders is what the service learning classes are all about.
“These students really do care about helping others, and now they are learning how to take those feelings and put them into action,” Fife said.