University of the Cumberlands is hosting its annual food drive October 15 – November 15 this year. As always, all food collected will be donated to local food banks.

In the past three years, Cumberlands has collected more than 61,000 pounds of food to help families in the community be fed during the holiday season. These donations are in addition to the approximately 30,000 pounds the school provides registered local families through Mountain Outreach at Christmastime.

“We are excited to be kicking off our annual food drive again,” said Dr. Emily Coleman, Vice President of Student Services at Cumberlands. “It’s always wonderful seeing our campus come together to do something meaningful for others. It’s a great way to get involved and help our community.”

This year’s food drive is themed “Miracle Dish,” based off the Biblical account when Jesus fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish.

Most food banks to which Cumberlands donates food are associated with local churches. There have been years in which the food collected during the food drive has stocked local pantries for almost an entire year.

The University will have on-campus collection challenges, weekly food collection goals, and residence hall competitions during the food drive as extra motivators for students to get involved.

“With the number of students on campus this year, this could be one of the biggest food drives we’ve ever had,” said Coleman. “We are really hopeful to see how much food we can bring in and how many families we can help this year.”