Students volunteer, help TLC Pantry with food drive


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

DONATIONS, FUNDS AND FOOD. Journalism students speak to potential donors for the TLC Food Pantry at Kroger Marketplace.

by Heather Jackson, VOW photography manager

Songs about Rudolph and Winter wonder sands fill the aisles of Kroger Marketplace as band and choir members perform Christmas carols for the holiday season. As music is heard all around the store, cheerleaders, Champion 4-H and journalism students are collecting supplies and donations for a cause that gives back to the local community. 

On Friday, December 3, students from various organizations across campus spent the day at Kroger to aid The Local Church (TLC) Food Pantry in their efforts to gain supplies and funds for the Christmas season. 

In addition to collecting donations, some of the fine arts programs performed holiday songs to get customers and staff into the Christmas spirit. 

“When we got down, we saw the jazz band playing,” junior Saoirse Gallagher said. “They were really awesome, and we didn’t know how we were going to follow it. Overall, I think we did a fine job. I liked it because some people stopped and listened to us, and I love that we were able to spread Christmas cheer.”

The organizations used to participate annually but were not able to last year due to COVID-19. This year, things are finally getting back to normal, and they are back in action. 

“Champion 4-H has been doing the food drive for years because we love to help out our community wherever we can,” senior Avari Ford said. “I loved being able to get out in my community and help the people in need. These past couple of years have been so rough for a lot of us, so I was glad to just go out and share a smile and laugh with people.” 

Some students have special connections with TLC Food Pantry and their cause, which gives them the drive to go out and help in any way they can, especially during the Holiday season. 

“For me, this experience was very fulfilling because I know many people personally that rely on the food bank, so being able to help them made me very happy,” senior Ava Semler said. “I know the whole TLC staff was very appreciative of us volunteering to help them out this Christmas season.”

The food drive provided students with an opportunity to serve members of the community as well as interact with people they would not normally have the chance to and give them hope for the coming year.  

“I really liked being in the food drive,” junior Stone Chapman said. “I got to meet more people in my community and practice my people skills. Using my communication skills and outgoing attitude was really helpful for the rest of the people volunteering. I am really glad that I got to help out the ones that need it most. I will definitely be participating in the food drive next year.”