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2,200 Food Donations to Smokey’s Pantry

Over 2,200 food and personal care donations will be delivered to Smokey’s Pantry on Wednesday, November 18th at 2:00 pm. A UT branded bus will deliver the donations to Smokey’s Pantry and representatives of Student Government Association, the UT Traffic and Parking Authority, and Parking & Transit Services will be on hand to unload items to assist in restocking Smokey’s Pantry.

The University of Tennessee Parking & Transit Services conducted a “Donations for Citations” program that offered UT students, faculty, and staff members the opportunity to donate food or personal care items in exchange for a credit of up to $32 towards their university parking citation.

A donation of at least 5 food items or five personal items was required to get up to $32 off of a parking citation. To assist with the collection, Parking & Transit Services set up a pick-up station in their office, located at 2121 Stephenson Drive, and as soon as the campaign kicked off the donations started coming in.

“Donations for Citations has been a student government campaign policy point every year, and we are so elated that we were finally able to provide this easy alternative for our students. With growing financial and food insecurities amongst college students, it is our hope that we can help alleviate some of these concerns with this new option. Thank you to our student leaders and Parking and Transit for always working together to provide new ways of serving our students.” said SGA President Karmen Jones.

In total, over 2,200 cans, boxes, or personal care items were collected during the campaign and delivered to the Smokey’s Pantry. The donations were able to dismiss 440 citations and were valued at $12,768. All donated items will be processed for redistribution to members of the community who may benefit from receiving them.

“We are so grateful for this donation from the Donations for Citations program and the continued support from the Student Government Association, Parking and Transit Services, and many other departments within the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.”  said Caitlynne Fox, Director of Smokey’s Pantry. “At Smokey’s Pantry, we rely on donations of food and hygiene items to provide our guests with items that are typically not available through our sponsoring food pantry.

This program has helped raise awareness of food insecurity and Smokey’s Pantry on campus which is always needed. Food insecurity is a stigmatized topic and it can be hard for people to talk about or ask for help. With 30% of UT students experiencing food insecurity, any opportunity to raise awareness around programs aimed at helping students is incredibly important.”