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Sharing and Caring This Thanksgiving Season

With drastic increases in food prices in America over the last year or two, food insecurity has become an increasingly serious issue, particularly for those who are unemployed or underemployed—the kind of folks who have turned to McDowell Technical Community College and other community colleges to train and retrain for jobs in a rapidly changing workforce. But thanks to the generosity of Foothills Food Hub in Marion, approximately 81 McDowell Tech students will be able to share the most basic of human needs with their families this Thanksgiving: food.

On Monday, the McDowell Tech Student Government Association (SGA), along with members of the McDowell Tech faculty and staff, distributed turkeys and food boxes with enough staples to prepare a warm, nutritious Thanksgiving dinner to each of the 81 students who responded to the college’s offer of assistance.

“We know that a large number of our students are financially unable to provide the basic necessities of life for their families that many of us take for granted,” said Ryan Garrison, Interim President at McDowell Tech. “We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with Foothills Food Hub and greatly appreciate their generosity in providing these food boxes and turkeys for our students.”

Foothills Food Hub is a program of the McDowell Local Food Advisory Council, a non-profit organization that partners with grassroots leaders, the faith community, institutions and local farmers to meet the growing problem of food insecurity in the local community. They are a strong supporter of McDowell Tech and MTCC students, and the college operates a Culinary Program of the Food Hub kitchen on Barnes Road in Marion.

“The board of trustees and I are very proud of our Student Government Association members who showed strong leadership and support for their fellow students through their planning, coordination and distribution efforts for this event,” said Garrison. “And as always, we are grateful for our employees who helped with this event—as they do with so many events throughout the year. We are and will remain an institution that CARES for those we serve, and we will do everything we can to not only break down barriers to student success and achievement, but barriers such as food insecurity that prevent students and their families from leading healthy, happy lives.

“We hope that our efforts will make this holiday season a little brighter for these students and their families, and again, we say ‘thanks’ to Foothills Food Hub for helping us make a difference in our community, one student at a time, one meal at a time, one education at a time.”

Julie Padgett Buchanan

Keeping the Faith

A sweet and loving child of God returned to her heavenly father in the still and quiet of a bitterly-cold January morning earlier this week. Julie Buchanan, better known to most of her McDowell Tech family as Julie Padgett, ended her battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, on Wednesday, just a little more than 21 months after she was officially diagnosed with the disease.

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