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TWC Food Bank
"Service is in our motto. We're a local sorority and are dedicated to helping those in the local community, many of whom are people we know and grew up with. We take a lot of pride in giving back. We're bettering ourselves by bettering life for our friends and neighbors." - Isabella Daniels, Alpha Xi Gamma Sorority, from The Daily Post-Athenian
Food Rescue and Redistribution
The TWC Food Bank is a member agency of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and part of the Feeding America network. Feeding America works to build relationships with local grocery stores to rescue food. The Chattanooga Area Food Bank connected the TWC Food Bank to the BI-LO grocery store located in Etowah, Tenn. This partnership allows the TWC Food Bank to rescue food three times a week from the grocery store for redistribution.
Alpha Xi Gamma, a local TWC sorority, has adopted the TWC Food Bank and food rescue program as a local philanthropy. Trained volunteers help rescue food from our grocery store partner three times per week. When “rescuing” food from our grocery partner, the volunteers are not picking up food that has gone bad by any means. The food that is rescued is at its “sell by date,” which means that the food is still good for consumption but does not meet the standard for the grocery store. Each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, volunteers from the sorority and other student volunteers rescue, weigh, and organize food in the food bank.
TWC Student Eligibility
In order for a student who attends Tennessee Wesleyan College to qualify to receive assistance from this program, the student must be (1) Pell Grant eligible and (2) a commuter*. The TWC Food Bank is open to students on Mondays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. If students are unable to pick up food during this time period, they can arrange a time to pick up items with the TWC Food Bank/Center for Servant Leadership that is convenient to their schedule. The process of obtaining this food is simple and very discrete.
*Pell Grant eligible students who live on campus may be eligible to "shop" the TWC Food Bank under certain circumstances. Please contact Service and Leadership with questions.
Community Member Eligibility
The TWC Food Bank redistributes rescued items through local community partnerships with Grace and Mercy Ministries, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Women at the Well Ministries, and Miracle Lake Ministries. Grace and Mercy Ministries serves every Monday and Friday starting at 12 p.m. at the Cooke Ministries Center, located at 714 Walter St., Athens, TN 37303. St. Paul's Episcopal Church offers a community lunch every Wednesday starting at 12 p.m. at the church, located at 123 South Jackson St., Athens, TN 37303.
Community members can also register to "shop" our food bank directly. The TWC Food Bank is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. We ask that shoppers not arrive prior to opening time due to limited parking on campus.
The TWC Food Bank opened its doors on October 26, 2013, with the mission to redistribute rescued food to community members suffering from food insecurity. The food bank is located in the Center for Servant Leadership on the main campus of Tennessee Wesleyan College, where one of the buildings’ rooms was converted to support the equipment necessary to run a food bank. This conversion was made possible through a service-learning project partnership with the Tennessee College of Applied Technologies. Commercial freezers and refrigerators to properly outfit the food bank were purchased utilizing a community development grant from the Athens Federal Foundation.
The TWC Food Bank has grown exponentially over its short tenure and continues to help many individuals throughout the campus/Athens community. From July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015, 411 families and 990 (unduplicated) individuals were served directly through the food bank, with many visiting every week. Anotehr 8,403 individuals were served through our distribution partners.
To learn more about the TWC Food Bank or find ways to support this important work, visit the Get Involved page.
Many thanks to the many supporters and partners of the TWC Food Bank!