Golden Can Food Drive Underway

The entire Union College community is being challenged to defend their Golden Can, an award held for four straight years as a result of a food drive initiative to support Kentucky Harvest Southeast.

The Pursuit of the Golden Can is a collegiate food drive competition held annually between southeastern Kentucky colleges including Union, University of the Cumberlands and Eastern Kentucky University. Union has bested the other schools in the competition since entering the program four years ago.

“Each year our campus community embraces the opportunity to have fun while we collect food for local people in need,” said Jodi Carroll, Union’s Director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “We anticipate very tough competition this year and we are ready to respond.”

Since joining the competition, the Union community has collected over 34,000 pounds of food – 4,795 pounds in 2011; 10,000 in 2012; 15,284 in 2013 and 4,765 in 2014. Carroll says the project at Union is entirely student led and community focused with James Bengie heading the project in 2015. Collections began on campus on October 1 and will continue through November 15.

Collection points for the food drive have been established on Union’s campus and throughout the community. For anyone that wants to donate, there are collection bins established at every major building on Union’s campus. In Barbourville, collection bins can be found at several businesses and public offices. Monetary donations for the project are also accepted and will be utilized to purchase foods at wholesale prices.

The entire Barbourville and Knox County community is being called into action to support the food drive and those families whom will benefit. In years prior, community efforts have been a large part of Union’s collections, which saw in one year more than 2,000 pounds of food collected at Mayor David Thompson’s office.

All of the food collected through the competition is managed by Kentucky Harvest Southeast and distributed to local food shelters. Since its establishment in 2008, Kentucky Harvest Southeast has distributed more than 800,000 pounds of food, representing 1.6 million meals to families throughout southeastern Kentucky.

“We want to say this is a fun competition and when it is all said and done there are no losers when it comes to fighting hunger,” said Jim Dorn, President of Kentucky Harvest Southeast.

For more information on supporting Union’s Pursuit of the Golden Can, please contact James Bengie, student intern, at or Jodi Carroll at 606.546.1278.

You can learn more about the Pursuit of the Golden Can at