GMC News

Valdosta Helps Community Soup Kitchen

Published July 15, 2009 11:51 pm – Georgia Military College students in Bonnie Tindall’s American Government class collected over 1,000 dry food items and $627.30 in cash for Valdosta’s Community Soup Kitchen.

Lending a helping hand
Project teaches GMC students more than expected

By Matt Flumerfelt
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Georgia Military College students in Bonnie Tindall’s American Government class collected over 1,000 dry food items and $627.30 in cash for Valdosta’s Community Soup Kitchen.

Tindall said the project originated when she had the students select a newspaper article focusing on a current event relating to government.
Student Lindsey Stone said that she saw the June 14 article about the Soup Kitchen in “The Valdosta Daily Times” and brought it to class for possible use in their project. The class agreed it would make a worthwhile project and set about finding ways to raise donations.

The June 14 article explained that, because of the struggling economy, food and monetary donations to Valdosta’s Community Soup Kitchen are down while demand is up.

Stone said the project related to government because it addressed the drop in donations and rise in demand at the Soup Kitchen brought about by the recession. Since nonprofit organizations are part of what’s discussed in the class, it fit in nicely with their assignment, Tindall said.

The students decorated cardboard boxes in festive, attention-getting colors and patterns, some with a red, white and blue theme, and others more whimsically. These boxes were placed around the school to collect donated dry food items from students and faculty. Some GMC faculty gave extra credit to students who donated canned and other dry food items as an extra incentive.

The boxes were emptied every Friday.

Another part of the project involved a bake sale. Tindall’s students sold tickets for a chance to win homemade cakes. Those purchasing tickets could even select which cake they were trying to win. Cakes featured during the fund-raiser included a red velvet cake, a hummingbird cake, a pound cake using Grandma’s secret recipe, and blueberry and pineapple cakes. Other baked goods that were sold to raise money were peanut butter cookies, Rice Krispy treats, cupcakes, white trash, brownies, and pecan pies, among others.

All of the items were made by the students and were not store-bought, Tindall said.

The project ran for about a month. Soup Kitchen President Andy Jones was scheduled to pick up the check and food donations on Wednesday.

Tindall said one goal of the project was to teach students the importance of volunteering to help the community.

“Our students have full-time and part-time jobs and they’re going to school.
They’re serious about their education,” Tindall said. “And they still take time to help others in need, so when my students give, I know they’re giving from the heart. It means something to them.”

Latoya Mann, one of the students working on the project, volunteered at the Soup Kitchen for a day, but it wasn’t just research. She said she volunteers at the Soup Kitchen in her hometown in South Carolina.

“I think the project brought the students closer together,” said student Caroline Metcalf.

“Sometimes you go to class and you never get to know each other. This has been my favorite class.”

Pictured: Library tech Mary Anderson takes a photograph of Bonnie Tindall’s class and the food they collected to donate to the Community Soup Kitchen. Pictured, from left to right, are Alex and Amanda Martin, John Manson, Tindall, Deanna Brown, Samantha Morgan, LaToya Mann, Lindsey Stone, Anita Garmon, Caroline Metcalf, and Jeffery Blue. Standing in the back is Brittany Bell.

Pictured: GMC students Caroline Metcalf, Jeffery Blue, Samantha Morgaon, and Lindsey Stone sort through some of the 1,000 cans of food they collected for the Community Soup Kitchen.