TCAT Practical Nursing Students Assist Chattanooga Area Food Bank

December 14, 2021 | Betty A. Proctor | Internal Press Release

grouo of students inside food bank

Chattanooga State’s Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) practical nursing students recently spent two days volunteering at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank to assist with sorting donations, packaging food boxes, and delivering donations out to cars for those in need. “Our first and second semester students were able to serve 630 families within our community,” stated Tina Hilinski, associate instructor, Practical Nursing. “It was a great team building activity and students demonstrated such positivity and open hearts … it was wonderful to give back.”

In addition to instructors Tina Hilinski and Cara Brown, volunteers included first semester students Jerica Besley, Hailey Billingsley, Fiona Blevins, Savanna Graham, Meagan Haustein, Ezera Henson, Victoria Hunt, Shiasia Little, Kensley Mansfield, Keosha Moorer, Maya Pastusic, Makayla Pritchett, Alexis Saunders, Bileah Sit, Jessica Stone, and Will Thomas. Second semester students included Kawana Clay, Felecia Poku, Olivia Farrow, Vanessa Smith, Jaimee Woody, Gracelyn Harper, Jessica Caperton, and Christine Carter.

First year practical nursing students Maya Pastusic and Bileah Sit shared their thoughts about the experience. Having never volunteered at the Food Bank, Maya got to know her classmates better and said, “I was able to help provide for the community in need and it was fulfilling,”  while Bileah expressed her joy in giving back to the community and said, “My volunteering experience made me feel great and thankful.”

Statistics provided by the Food Bank state that more than 161,000 individuals face food insecurity in their 20-county service area. One in six children do not know where their next meal will come from. The Chattanooga Area Food Bank relies heavily on volunteer hours, monetary and food donations. In 2020, they provided over 14 million meals to those in need.

“Our students have many learning experiences while in College and we are grateful to these students for leading out in serving our community,” said Dr. Jim Barrott, TCAT executive vice president.” “It is a win-win for everyone involved.”