UniTec Career Center, along with partners with Save-A-Lot in Bonne Terre and the Bonne Terre Ministerial Alliance, held another annual food drive that surpassed goals.
With money raised by UniTec Career Center employees and students, Save-A-Lot makes an at-cost order of food items to be forwarded to Ministerial Alliance food pantries. According to UniTec Career Education Counselor Lindsey Matthews, 2019’s food drive brought in a record-breaking $4,800, so this year's goal was set at $5,200. The 2020 Food Drive brought in a whopping $9,225, which equaled an additional 1,100 units of food donated alongside the cash contributions.
“The community really stepped up this year. Our business donors and individuals are local, caring people who understand the importance of taking care of one another,” Matthews said. “In return for their generosity, it is important for the rest of us as community members to shop local and support these giving businesses.”
Matthews said not only did the community support take the food drive to a new level, UniTec student participation also amazed her.
“We use this project as a way to instill in our students the importance of giving and supporting others,” she said. “Our Electrical Technology program taught by Bruce Pratte brought in $2,100, Health Services with instructors Leslie Duncan and Sarah Wilkins came in second with $1,800. Billy Smith's Collision Repair and Derek Kauffman's Culinary Arts Program each brought in $500.”
Matthews said a food drive of this magnitude, especially in a pandemic year, required great community partnership from area sponsors.
This year's drive was sponsored by Bonne Terre Drag Strip, Keen Motorsports, Terre Du Lac Country Club, Larry B. Merrill Insurance Agency Inc. State Farm, Amanda G. Shipman Insurance Agency State Farm, ACE Autry Construction Enterprises, Xi Mu Xi Chapter Beta Sigma Phi, Simpson Sandblasting & Painting, Heartland Hearing Centers LLC, Bonne Terre Eagles and Ladies Auxiliary, Keen PDR & Performance LLC, Holekamp Do-It Center, Straughn's Lawn Service, Marler's Towing Service, A1 Homecare, C.Z. Boyer & Son Inc. Funeral Homes, Rocking R Investments Inc. DBA R.B.'s Western Package, Crader & Sons Hauling LLC, Hotwire Electric Inc, 5 Star Pizza LLC, The Corner Pocket, Pizza 101 South LLC, Hubs Pub & Grill LLC, Willette Home Furnishings, J. Higgins Plumbing, UniCo Bank, First State Community Bank, and Belgrade State Bank.
“The surrounding area businesses and individuals have always supported UniTec programs and students in such a way,” Matthews said. “We will do it again next year! Happy Holidays to all from the UniTec Career Center.”
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at email@example.com.