A-State Groups Join for Annual Canned Food Drive
JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter, A-State ENACTUS, and the Neil Griffin College of Business first-year experience program have partnered to hold the fourth annual Barbara Keller Memorial Canned Food Drive.
Part of the November community service events, the collected food will assist the Helping Neighbors food pantry and the A-State food pantry. The FYE classes will collect items Friday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Food Smart on the corner of Nettleton Ave. and Red Wolf Blvd. Also, canned goods will be collected now until Wednesday, Nov. 14. They will be delivered Thursday, Nov. 15.
“Barbara Keller was an English teacher from the Nettleton School District, who upon retirement, spent nearly all of her time in service to those less fortunate in the Jonesboro community,” explained Dr. Philip Tew, associate professor of finance and PBL adviser. “She volunteered weekly at Helping Neighbors Food Pantry, the Jonesboro Community Health Center and for the St. Bernards Medical Center ‘Pink Lady’ group.
“Barbara was the weekly supervisor for all Tuesdays at Helping Neighbors and the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church team leader for Helping Neighbors, and was one of the driving forces in getting Two Saints Food Kitchen (a joint program between St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s Methodist Church) started so that there would be an opportunity for a hot meal over the weekend for the less fortunate. She passed away suddenly in 2014. We have done this as a small way to honor her.”
In addition, ENACTUS and PBL will assemble “blessing bags” for distribution to members of the homeless population in Craighead County. These bags will include toiletries, socks and other necessities.
Brandon Johnson, an emergency medical technician in Jonesboro and a teaching assistant at A-State, and his wife Amber, a nurse, distributed blankets and items to different areas last year and will assist in delivering the bags. The organizations will also collect gently used winter coats to distribute in December.
Phi Beth Lambda is the collegiate version of Future Business Leaders of America and is open to all majors at Arkansas State University and all classifications. Membership in A-State PBL allows students to join any of the affiliated organizations at no additional cost.
Since its rechartering in 2008, the A-State PBL chapter has grown from three paid members to being the largest chapter in the country during the 2017-18 academic year with 263 paid members. ENACTUS is one of the affiliated organizations.
For more information about the canned food drive and the coat collection, contact PBL president Rachel Washam at rachel.washam@smail.AState.edu, ENACTUS president Maddie Cossitt at madelyn.cossitt@smail.AStaate.eduor Dr. Tew at ptew@AState.edu.