The Pellissippi Pantry will be stocked with more than 15,000 new units of food, thanks to Pellissippi State Community College’s recent Pack the Pickup campaign.
The food drive, which ran Nov. 1 through Dec. 11, collected seven times the amount of food the college gathered the previous year.
“Last year we collected 1,904 items of food,” said Student Care and Advocacy Director Drema Bowers. “This year we set the lofty goal of 10,694, one item for each student enrolled at Pellissippi State this fall. We are thrilled to report that we surpassed our goal and collected the equivalent of 15,411 items.”
Pellissippi State’s Pack the Pickup campaign was part of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ annual food drive. TBR is the largest system of higher education in the state, responsible for governing Tennessee’s 13 public community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.
TBR Vice Chancellor for Student Success Heidi Leming announced Friday that 110,944 items were collected and donated to food pantries at the nine community colleges and 16 colleges of applied technology that participated in the food drive this year.
Institutions were grouped by student headcount to determine the top institutions, and Pellissippi State won for Tier 2 community colleges while Jackson State Community College pulled in the most items – 18,315 – as a Tier 1 community college.
“Pellissippi State was awarded an additional $6,000 not included in their total to further support their food pantry,” Leming added, referencing a $5,000 donation from Discovery Inc. and a $1,000 donation from Lipscomb University for projects completed with Pellissippi State earlier this year. “What an incredible expression of kindness and generosity across the TBR system!”
Pellissippi State had some extra helping hands this year. Professor Lisa Fall’s Project Design and Management students set up “service stations” to accept donations.
“We know students who don’t eat, who live in their cars,” said Fall. “This isn’t New York City. This is right here on our campuses, right here in our backyard.”
Pellissippi State had support from area businesses including Chick-fil-A locations in Turkey Creek and Oak Ridge, Regions Bank on Hardin Valley Road, Integrity HR Services, King University, Food City, Maple Street Biscuit Company, Cotton-Eyed Joe and Sitel.
Lesli Bales-Sherrod does marketing and writing for Pellissippi State Community College.