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Motlow Student Donates 1,200 lbs of Items to Student Pantry

November 24, 2021

Eli Certain sits among the donated items she has collected for the student pantry at Motlow State Community College. Certain, a student at the College, was able to get the items donated from Feed America First after a College-wide food drive announcement went out earlier this month. When the call went out for food donations to Motlow’s student pantries, Motlow student Eli Certain jumped into action. Unaware of the actual number of items she was able to contribute, her total donation was just over 1,200 pounds of food. Items ranged from fresh fruit and vegetables, to shelf-stable snacks, milk, and even personal hygiene products.

“Every day I was on campus, I would walk by the student pantry shelves and see that they were low, or had the same few items on them,” said Certain. “I knew I had the power to make a difference, so I did.”

Certain had the idea to reach out to an organization called Feed America First. The organization receives donations from large corporations and divides it out to smaller organizations.

Items in the moving van she rented.She said she got the contact information from Hayley Austin, the library circulation assistant at the College’s Smyrna campus. “I couldn’t have completed this without her help and the help of volunteers from my personal life.”

According to Certain, Feed America First normally requires a fee for those collecting donations. She was able to get the fee waived in exchange for volunteering to help the non-profit deliver the items. She rented a moving truck and got in line at 6 a.m. to pick up the items to deliver them to Smyrna. She said the donations were at Motlow by 11 a.m.

Helping others is just what Certain likes to do. She is majoring in social work.

“I have a passion for social service and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life,” she exclaimed.

Motlow is still collecting donated food and hygiene items. There are drop locations at each campus:

  • Smyrna: Cafe Kiosk, Hiatt-Spivey Building
  • Moore County: Student Activity and Resource Center, Forrester Building
  • McMinnville: In front of One-Stop
  • Fayetteville: In front of One-Stop

For more information, contact [email protected].

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient, and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. The system offers associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs, and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at or visit Motlow at

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