Union, local community collect 8,000 pounds of food during annual drive

Published on
November 21, 2016

Golden Can Union College and the Barbourville community joined together to collect more than 8,000 pounds of food for the annual Kentucky Harvest Southeast food drive - Pursuit of the Golden Can.

The annual food drive competition pits the Union College community against University of the Cumberlands to collect food and donations for area food banks. This is the 5th year of the organized food drive; with the winner each year awarded the Golden Can. Union has held the Golden Can since Kentucky Harvest Southeast created the program.

This year, the two colleges combined to collect more than 26,000 pounds of food for area food banks. The food totals were tallied on Friday and the Golden Can winner announced. Jim Dorn, President of Kentucky Harvest Southeast, called this year’s effort “the most successful food drive ever.”

“I know some will be disappointed, but I want to tell you that your hard work is going to be rewarded when the less fortunate will have food on their tables for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Dorn said. “It all happened because you care so much.”

Dorn awarded the 2016 Golden Can to the University of the Cumberlands, that collected 18,513 pounds of food in the drive. The collections amounted to 13.48 pounds of food collected per student at Cumberlands. Union relinquished the Golden Can, but still collected 8,022 pounds of food (9.45 pounds per student), 3,000 more than the college and community collected last year.

“The Pursuit of the Golden Can is a special time of year when our students and community members work together for a great cause,” said Stefanie Edgell Assistant Coordinator for the Center for Civic Engagement. “Many families in our area struggle throughout the year, but the holidays are especially hard. Our goal, each year, is to do as much as we can to serve our community and alleviate that hardship.”

Edgell said this year’s food drive was bolstered by community support throughout Barbourville. IGA, Super Dollar, Save-A-Lot, Walmart, Barbourville High School, GR Hampton Elementary and Girdler Elementary all partnered with Union’s Center for Civic Engagement to manage collections for the food drive. In the last five years, Union and its community partners have collected nearly 50,000 pounds of food in the Golden Can competition.

Kentucky Harvest Southeast works to ensure all donations are distributed to local families through local food banks. This year, Union College students joined Kentucky Harvest Southeast in distributing the donations to the Christian Life Fellowship Food Pantry and the KCEOC Women’s Shelter in Barbourville.

“Our board was so pleased with your accomplishments and the enthusiasm and team spirits for both institutions,” Dorn added.  “We cannot begin to thank all of you for your success this year.”

You can learn more about Kentucky Harvest Southeast by visiting www.kyharvestsoutheast.org