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Art with a Heart

Spring 2014 Can Food Drive.jpg

A child’s stomach begins to growl he asks mom for food, but unfortunately there is not much in the pantry. She thinks “What can I do to feed my child?”

Believe it or not, hunger is still an issue — not only nationally, but in Smith County itself. The Tyler Junior College Art Department, along with Phi Theta Kappa and other faculty members and organizations on campus, is doing something about that hunger. Professor Derrick White is helping to run the Can Food Drive taking place in the Jenkins Hall Art Department lobby through Oct. 31.

“We’ve been doing a can food drive for about six or seven years,” said White. “The way it started is the people that run the food pantry at Tyler AID Services decided to do a contest between Texas College, Tyler Junior College and UT-Tyler.”

Having beat out both colleges by a 1,500 can margin, Tyler AID began to come directly to TJC and take the donations that students bring in. This semester, in addition to Tyler AID Services, St. Paul’s Children’s Foundation Food Pantry and the East Texas Food Bank will benefit as well.

“We’re divvying up it up a little bit, because we’ve taken truck loads to that one food bank [Tyler AID Services],” White said, “and it kind of overwhelms them all at once.”

Having decided to split the donations up, the food may go out to more people who accept donations from different services.

The West Campus, as well as the Surgical Technology Department, has also taken part in the event since its beginning.

As the donations start coming in and cans start to become plentiful, students in the department begin to make a sculpture out of the donated items, which stays on display in the art lobby until the food is taken to the food banks.

“It’ been a good thing,” White said. “It helps the community. We like to feed families that are in our area, and hopefully we’ll break 3,000 cans this years.”

This is an open event, meaning that anybody can donate nonperishable food items to the art department lobby, or can call 903-510-2233 to arrange a donation pick-up.

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