Starting in 2012, the AC Food Pantry on the Washington Street Campus has been giving out Thanksgiving bags to those who will not have enough food for the holiday. “We had everything to complete a Thanksgiving dinner except the turkey,” said coordinator Cindy Lanham. “Our goal was to fill 75 bags, and we had over 100.” In 2012, Lynae Jacob helped start the tradition. Jacob is chairwoman of speech, theater and mass media and a founder of the Food Pantry. “I didn’t know if there was a need or if students were struggling for food,” she said.
In the beginning, AC employees rounded up 30 bags. Faculty, staff and administrators would donate entire bags themselves, but there was not a strong response. Once they decided to work together in groups to donate a specific item, the project really began booming. Donations typically consisted of canned goods, potatoes, stuffing, gravy and biscuit mix. After 2012, Food Pantry workers discovered there was a real need for food. With the entire campus involved, there was plenty of food to donate. Last year, 60 bags went within an hour. “All AC students are special,” Lanham said. “You learn their stories and hardships, so we try to make the holiday as special as it can be.” Students are eligible to visit the Food Pantry twice a month all semester. On Nov. 30, Jacob, pantry volunteers and KAMR-TV anchors Jackie Kingston and Andy Justus handed out more than 100 food bags in the Parcells-Byrd lobby.