This past week, the Appalachian Center for Civic Life at Emory & Henry College sponsored a food drive to help community members in need who have been impacted by COVID-19 food insecurity.
The drive took place from Oct. 18-23 and collected canned goods and other non-perishables to donate to families in Washington County who might not be able to purchase food items this Thanksgiving season.
Ty Smith, Civic Leader Scholar and junior at E&H, worked alongside Maggie Obberman, Civic Engagement Coordinator, to ensure that the operation accomplished its goal. Among other activities throughout the week, the food drive was part of E&H’s homecoming this year, and Smith says they wanted this charitable opportunity to be used as a way to feel campus pride.
“The food drive is a way for individuals to show E&H spirit during spirit week,” Smith said. “By supporting the food drive, students will be able to assist families who are experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Along with collecting food, Smith explained that a major goal of the operation was to educate the community about food insecurity.
“I am conducting a social media campaign during the week using the E&H social media platforms,” he said. “The purpose of this campaign is to allow for students to gain a better understanding of food insecurity and the increase of it due to COVID-19.”
Although the food drive itself only took place for a week, Smith’s campaign is a long-term project he hopes will raise awareness for a topic often overlooked, even though it is of great importance.
“The campaign is part of a semester-long project that brings awareness to the social movement of food justice and food security issues throughout our communities. I hope that it will allow students to realize the importance of food banks and food drives, specifically during the current global pandemic,” he said.
Smith urges students to remember that even though the food drive on campus is over, there are still opportunities to give back to people in need.
“We have many national holidays coming up and the COVID-19 pandemic has placed many people in food insecure situations,” he said. “Any amount of food can help anyone in need.”
For anyone interested in helping out or learning more about food insecurity, more information can be found on the E&H Facebook and Instagram pages.