Texas College donates 2,135 pounds to food bank

Published on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 20:07 - Written by EMILY GUEVARA eguevara@tylerpaper.com

A Texas College food drive yielded more than 2,100 pounds of goods and served as a reminder that “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

The school’s community came together to collect nonperishable food items for the East Texas Food Bank.

Their donations, which amounted to 2,135 pounds of food, will provide for about 1,780 meals, according to the food bank.

Dr. Bobby Stinson, assistant to the Texas College president, said it was a student-oriented effort completed with the help of faculty and staff.

The food drive lasted for more than two weeks after college President Dr. Dwight Fennell extended it.

Stinson said the school’s core values of community service, social responsibility and integrity were highlighted through this project.

On Tuesday, food bank representatives came to campus for a short program in front of the student body before collecting the donations in their truck.

East Texas Food Bank Executive Director Dennis Cullinane thanked the students for their generosity.

“We are very touched today to be receiving this amazing donation of food,” he said.

Cullinane said as the father of a college student he knows money can be tight for these students so their donations mean even more.

Texas has the second largest population of food insecure people in the country, behind California, Cullinane said.

In the state, the East Texas Food Bank serves the fourth highest food insecure region, he said.

The college’s donation will aid the food bank and its partner agencies in serving those in need.

Student Activities President Norman Avery Stewart thanked the college family and food bank for giving the students the opportunity to participate.

“We just wanted to show our way of giving back to the community in East Texas,” said Stewart, 27, a senior early childhood education major from Baton Rouge, La.

Stewart said the college community used a variety of means to collect donations. Students put barrels inside different buildings around campus to encourage students to give. They also promoted the drive during chapel, which is held three times a week, and some instructors agreed to offer extra credit to students who donated a certain amount of food, Stewart said.

Many student organizations including athletic teams, fraternities and sororities, student government and the choir participated in the effort as well.

Stewart said with Thanksgiving coming up, the students wanted to provide for families in need.

“We wanted to be able to actually put healthy meals on each person’s table,” he said.

Although Texas College has contributed to the East Texas Food Bank before, they have not done so on such a large scale.

“I believe Texas College stepped up to the challenge of donating to (the) East Texas Food Bank,” Student Body President Houston Creighton, 21, of Houston, a senior math major and baseball player, said.