Tennessee's community and technical colleges collected 148,578 food items and cash in 24th Annual Food Drive Challenge

Roane State Community College's food pantry

Thanks to the generosity of our campus communities, food insecurity is less of a barrier to attendance for students in need and hunger is less prevalent in our broader communities.

Students, faculty and staff at Tennessee’s public community and technical colleges collected and donated the equivalent of 148,578 food items in the College System of Tennessee’s Annual Food Drive Challenge for 2022. The food and cash donations go to campus food pantries and local organizations, programs and food banks in their communities.

In addition to food items, cash donations were collected, which count as two items per dollar raised. This year’s collections and donations exceeded last year’s equivalent of 132,701 items.

The Annual Food Drive Challenge was conceived by the Student Government Presidents Council, composed of student government leaders from across the system, 24 years ago as a project to help fellow students and others in their communities in need.  The campus communities have kept the tradition going over the years. The colleges compete, by enrollment size, to see which can collect the most.

Roane State Community College

This year,  10 community colleges and 15 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) submitted results for participation in the competition. The top institutions in each category:


Community Colleges:

Tier 1: Roane State Community College, 16,731 items

Tier 2: Pellissippi State Community College, 47,788 items


Colleges of Applied Technology:

Tier 1: TCAT Jacksboro, 3,414 items

Tier 2: TCAT Northwest, 3,826 items

Tier 3: TCAT Dickson, 19,407 items

“The generous support of employees and students in raising funds and food donations for food pantries this year is just one of the many ways our campus communities are supporting efforts to address student food insecurity. The program is a visible reminder of the importance of supporting students outside the classroom to ensure student success,” said Dr. Heidi Leming, Tennessee Board of Regents vice chancellor for student success, whose office coordinates the Food Drive Challenge across the system.

TCAT Covington

To help address food insecurity among students in need, all 13 Tennessee community colleges house food pantries or make food available to students and 17 TCATs either house food pantries, make food available to students, or have a partnership with a local organization to aid students in obtaining food. However, every college in the system will connect students to local services when students indicate the need.

In addition to the food items collected, many institutions also participated in charitable giving events. For example, TCATs Harriman and Shelbyville collected 3,558 and 1,465 food items respectively for local veterans organizations to distribute to veterans and their families. Pellissippi State Community College also collected 228 toiletry and baby-care items, and TCAT Morristown donated items to Food on Foot for holiday food baskets.

Anyone wishing to contribute to food pantries at Tennessee’s community and technical colleges may do so at any time here: https://www.tbr.edu/advancement/college-system-tennessee-food-pantry-campaign


The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.