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Arkansas Tech students work to feed the needy | News

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Arkansas Tech students work to feed the needy

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- Have you ever wondered what happens to food that's a day over its expiration date in the supermarket?

In Russellville it's being collected and used to feed the homeless, an initiative brought on by students at Arkansas Tech.

It all started in a sociology class where a professor posed the simple question “if things can be done in the community why doesn't anyone do them?” The students responded by taking food that would otherwise be thrown away and using it to feed thousands of mouths.

“This is something we've been talking about for almost a year,” said Jenna Cahoon, one of the movement’s founding members.

“More and more students started paying attention and saying we want to do that,” added Kendall Tubb, Cahoon’s best friend and co-founder. “It seemed like nobody cared and I was like ‘I care. I want to do something about this.’”

The duo founded Because We Can, the name of the group of 15 students trying to affect change in the Russellville area.

“If you just have time and you know there's a need. There's no reason for that need not to be met,” Cahoon said.

In three days the class has collected more than 250 pounds of food- surpassing the 100 pound mark on the first day.

“Through service learning we've found an avenue for them to actually be able to go out and use these skills we've been trying to teach in the class,” said associate professor of sociology at Arkansas Tech James Stobaugh.

Stobaugh and his best friends Dr. Sean Huss, who is also a sociology professor at the school, saw the desire unfold before their eyes in class.

“It gives you a sense of hope and accomplishment because you're really affecting some sort of change,” Dr. Huss said.

In our country we tend to look at things as excessive and too much.

“This is real food,” Cahoon explained. “This food is totally fine and people are going to get it and they're going to eat. Seriously I cried like a little baby [when we first picked up the food].”

In this case maybe that isn't such a bad thing.          

“We're really proud of what the students have done,” Stobaugh said. “I mean we knew they were capable of great things but they've exceeded any and all expectations.”

The group of students say they want the Because We Can program to continue well into the future, hoping to house the organization in its own building on campus.