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’83,000 pounds of food in four years:’ University of the Cumberlands wraps up annual food drive

The university hopes to hit 100,000 pounds of food this year
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:51 PM EST
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WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Thursday, the University of the Cumberlands finished its annual one month long food drive.

“It’s really embedded in our culture here at UC helping to show students the importance of giving back to others,” said Provost Dr. Emily Coleman.

In four years, the university raised 83,000 pounds of food. They hope to surpass 100,000 pounds this year.

“In this environment, we just didn’t know how everyone would respond and they have come out in droves to support the food drive this year,” said Coleman.

Each week during the food drive, there was a weekly food goal to ensure that the food donated would complete a quality meal for someone in need.

“We’ve really just picked up steam, put a lot emphasis in having increased the impact we’ve made with our food drive,” said Coleman.

$5,000 was also raised during the drive, which will be used to buy more food.

“That’s when we go and purchase in bulk from our local grocers, so what are those additional items that the food drive didn’t fill that you would need,” said Coleman.

All the food will be donated to local food pantries such as the one at First Baptist Church in Williamsburg.

“We’ve got a whole wall of vegetables over here that they brought this past week and that will last us this year,” said Norma Dunston, the food pantry director.

Dunston says this year many people are struggling, but she has also seen an increase in people contributing.

“We have had more organizations step up to assist with food and so oddly enough our numbers have not skyrocketed which we expected to happen,” said Dunston.

With the donations from the university, the food pantry can help more people, which creates a greater impact.

“We’ve had people comment to us how much it has meant to them to know, ‘This is one thing I’m not going to have to worry about,” said Dunston.

During the holiday season, the food bank at First Baptist helps more than 100 families each month.

Students from the college also help Dunston pack the food bags for the monthly drive-by food bank.

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