HARROGATE, Tenn., Nov. 26, 2018 – The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM), in conjunction with the LMU-DCOM Community Wellness Program, will host a Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in the LMU-DCOM parking lot on the LMU main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee.
The Mobile Food Pantry will be available from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., or until the food runs out. LMU-DCOM students will be on site to do blood pressure screenings and there will be activities for children. Families do not need to meet minimum income guidelines; but, they will be asked to initial a sheet indicating the number of people in the household, including children, adults (18-59) and seniors (60-plus).
The first Mobile Food Pantry held at LMU-DCOM was in 2013. Over the last five years, LMU-DCOM students have served roughly 200 families per semester. A total of eight mobile food pantries have held since 2013, and over 5,000 individuals have been served.
“Helping to organize this event reminds me of the real people that I will help one day by becoming a physician,” said Amber Watson, a second year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM and vice president of SOMA. “Spending so much time studying and in the classroom is not the same as connecting with real people. An event like this allows us to spend a few hours giving back to and interacting with the members of this community, and is the breath of fresh air that we sometimes need to remind us of why we are really here.”
According to Second Harvest Food Bank, one in seven people in East Tennessee lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic needs. Nonprofit organizations, like food pantries, work with Second Harvest as partner agencies in a combined effort to serve those that are in need of food, but not all communities have access to local food pantries. The goal of Mobile Pantry is to reach the hungry in their own community.
"We feel it is a blessing to partner with LMU in bringing a mobile pantry to Claiborne County and its residents,” said Rhea Ennist, agency relations and mobile pantry coordinator for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. “Our goal is to end hunger in our communities. Through our partnership with LMU, 5,000 people have had the chance to avoid hunger. We are excited to see the commitment LMU shows their neighbors and are thrilled to be a part of that."
“We want to remind the community that we want to help whenever we can,” said Watson. “The smiles from the people who visit the pantry and the occasional hug we are given also help lift our spirits.”
The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email dcom@LMUnet.edu, or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu.