At Thanksgiving and all year, our volunteers help feed the hungry

December 4, 2014

 

FOOD-BANK-001-WEB Thanks to the hard work of UNT Health Science Center students and employees, needy people in the Fort Worth community will celebrate a happier, healthier Thanksgiving.Every year, UNTHSC students touch thousands of lives through community service. Already this fall, they’ve volunteered more than 1,300 hours.Several student organizations have collected and delivered truckloads of food to the Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB). And in its first year, the Community Garden, built by students and employees, donated more than 60 pounds, or 240 servings, of fresh organic produce to the Northside InterCommunity Agency.The need is great. Although Tarrant is among America’s fastest-growing counties and boasts a 5.5 percent unemployment rate, 1-in-4 children live in families that can’t afford nutritious food.To help meet the need, students and UNTHSC employees have conducted food drives, packing Thanksgiving baskets, collecting books for children and more.
Food Bank Volunteers
A few recent highlights:

  • In just two days, College of Pharmacy students collected more than 400 pounds of food for the TAFB – enough for almost 300 meals. They expect to rank near the top in a nationwide food-drive competition among Academy of Student Pharmacists chapters.
  • The UNTHSC Student Affairs Division spent an afternoon packing Thanksgiving baskets at TAFB and donated $500.
  • Students from the 2013-14 Medical Sciences Community Service Organization (MSCSO) helped the TAFB Mobile Pantry distribute food from a semi-truck to families queued on a church parking lot.

UNTHSC supports its core value of “serving others first” in many community outreach and service activities.

MSCSO Volunteer Coordinator Joshua Florez, President of the 2017 Physician Assistant Studies Class, said, “We knew that we could impact the community in a meaningful way and that we could make a difference. We truly wanted to be an example of what a group of students passionate for service could produce.”

And they delivered, with more than 1,000 volunteer hours during 10 months for causes that included Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Ronald McDonald House, where students spend evenings visiting with families of seriously ill children. MSCSO recently was honored with the U.S.President’s Volunteer Service Award for 2014.

The work continues, in the community and all over the UNTHSC campus. The Office of Health Promotion is collecting canned goods and new children’s books at the Fitness Center through Dec. 3. Food goes to the TAFB, books to the UNTHSC Pediatric Mobile Unit. For every five cans or one new children’s book, the donor is entered in a drawing for prizes including personal training and nutrition counseling, as well as FAC membership. In past years, this drive has averaged 1,700 pounds of food. The public is welcome to contribute.

 

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