In recognition of the university’s 225th anniversary, UT is celebrating the Volunteer way—with generosity and giving. On Tuesday, February 25, UT will host a daylong celebration with special events for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
The theme of the celebration is food insecurity awareness, incorporating service projects to provide food to those in need. Campus partners such as the Office of the Chancellor, Smokey’s Pantry, Aramark, and the Jones Center for Leadership and Service have organized multiple opportunities for community members to celebrate, serve, and learn more about how to help combat food insecurity.
Here are the different ways you can help:
Volunteer with the Jones Center for Leadership and Service. The center has various service projects both on and off campus. You can volunteer at one of several food pantries or help make 225 sandwiches for a local nonprofit. Check out all of the available opportunities.
Donate items to Smokey’s Pantry. Smokey’s Pantry is an accessible food pantry located at the Tyson House Campus Ministry, 824 Melrose Place, that provides free groceries and fresh produce to those in need. The pantry’s biggest needs include can openers, canned fruit, and shampoo and other hygiene products. You can bring donations to one of the 20+ collection bins provided by the Office of Sustainability at POD Markets, the Student Union, and the Tyson Alumni House.
Round up your purchase at any campus dining location for the Big Orange Meal Share. The Big Orange Meal Share is a short-term meal assistance program coordinated by the Office of the Dean of Students. Customers at all Aramark campus dining locations will have the option to round up their purchases by $2.25 to help provide meals to students in need.
Ashlyn Anderson, a sophomore studying public health nutrition from Franklin, Tennessee, helped with planning for the celebration. “The collaboration between so many different parts of campus has been special to see,” she said. “I really appreciate how different student organizations have been included in the celebration and that we’re incorporating service throughout the entire day.”
Anderson currently serves as president of UT’s chapter of Swipe Out Hunger, a student organization working with a national nonprofit dedicated to eradicating food insecurity on college campuses. She stressed how food insecurity affects entire communities. “Whether you’re personally experiencing it or you have peers struggling with it, food insecurity is something we all have a stake in, and I’m so excited to see everyone come together for this cause,” Anderson said.
In addition to these service opportunities, UT will host several events throughout the day to round out the celebration. Check out the full lineup. All food left over from the day will be donated to local nonprofits by the Food Recovery Network instead of being thrown away.
Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993, email@example.com)