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ETBU & KSLA Holiday Food Drive Collects A Ton of Food

December 6, 2015

MARSHALL, Texas (12/04/15) - East Texas Baptist University joined KSLA-TV for its Annual Holiday Food Drive held on Wednesday, Dec. 2.  The Marshall community donated over one ton of canned goods and non-perishable food items during the drive. The donated food is now on the shelves of the United Churches of Marshall Food Pantry at Mission Marshall to be distributed to Harrison County families in need.  

KSLA's Matt Harris broadcast live from the collection point in front of Marshall Hall during the channel 12's newscasts asking the Marshall community to donate food.  During the 6:00 a.m. live-cut in, Harris asked ETBU President Dr. Blair Blackburn what it means for students to be involved in the day. 

With members of the ETBU Texas Peace Officer Training Program standing behind him, Dr. Blackburn responded, "Our commitment is to the training of our students to be servants. This is another opportunity for them to learn what it means to deny self and to give to others in need."  

Hunger is not only a national problem it's a local community issue as well. The United Churches of Marshall Food Pantry reports that in Harrison County, 20.6% of community does not have enough food. That translates to 13,250 residents. 

"One does not know how much the donated food from today will make a difference," said food pantry board president Rebecca Searcy at the end of drive. "The food collected will make a huge impact in our community."

The 13-hour drive saw over 14 different ETBU groups ranging from athletic teams, students, faculty, staff, and student organizations volunteering their time in hour increments to receive donations. Many of the groups brought food items as well to donate. During the noon newscast viewers, were entertained with Christmas music performed by the Tiger Band as Harris reported on how the food drive was progressing. The Tiger Cheer Team, and mascot Toby the Tiger, wearing a Santa Suit, were also featured during the live cut-in as about 40 members of the Tiger football team and the Office of Financial Aid donated food.   

The drive ended with the ETBU Lady Tiger basketball team helping representatives from Mission Marshall to load just over 2,000 pounds of donated food in two trucks and one SUV.  Last year, the food drive netted over 500 pounds of donated food.

"We are grateful to the ETBU family for joining together to provide food for those in our community in need," said Dr. Blackburn. "How inspiring it is to see students, faculty, and staff working together to address hunger needs that surround us here in Marshall and Harrison County. Let's continue to reach out and support Mission Marshall with donations to the food pantry."  

The food pantry at Mission Marshall, 2109 S. Washington Street, serves residents of Harrison County who are in need of food assistance.