The Tennessee Wesleyan College’s food bank is located in the Center for Servant Leadership. It was started last year by Mandie Thacker Beeler, the director of the Center for Servant Leadership, and coordinator Beth Makowski. They wanted to create a new opportunity for service learning. Matt Harper, an AmeriCorpes Vista volunteer and a 2013 graduate from TWC, was selected to be in charge of the food bank. “This opportunity has shown me how many people need this, and it feels great to be able to help people from this college and this community,” he says.
The campus food bank, only open to students, and is open on Mondays and Fridays from 2pm to 3pm. Students are eligible if they receive the Pell Grant and live off campus, but if a student needs assistance the food bank tries not to turn anyone away. However, the food bank also serves the community through community partners such as Grace and Mercy Ministries, Cook Center, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. With help from Education Angels, the food bank also runs a backpack program that supplies high school students with food to take home with them on the weekends.
The food bank receives donations from the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and from Bi-Lo in Etowah. Anyone can volunteer, and many members from Alpha Xi Gamma help collect, organize, and distribute food.