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SWTC Food Pantry receives large donation
Specially For You Catering leads project
SWTC Food Pantry
Specially For You Catering Manager Donna Zart (far right) and her cafeteria crew at Southwest Tech stand with their most recent collection of food to be donated to the colleges food pantry.

‘Tis the season of giving and Specially for You Catering has raised hundreds of dollars to be donated to the Southwest Tech Food Pantry. The contracted company that serves Southwest Tech’s cafeteria collected aluminum cans from campus recycling bins and hosted silent auctions in order to gather the funds.

“As of Dec. 15, we’ve raised over $550,” said Donna Zart, manager of the catering company.

The process of collecting money to benefit the food pantry begin in late September when Zart received permission to pick up and recycle the aluminum cans around campus and then repurpose the proceeds.

“The cans were just being thrown out with the trash, so when I asked if I could collect them, they agreed,” Zart said. “Even the maintenance staff has been helping us with collecting.”

Then in late November, the first silent auction was held, which included gently used items from people’s homes.
“Staff and students just brought in things that they didn’t want in their homes anymore, but it was all nice stuff,” she added. “We had about 15 items for auction and we displayed them in one of the (windowed) showcases on campus.”

Since then, the group has held four more consecutive auctions ranging from 15-30 items each time. The auctions have run for one week at a time, from Tuesday through Monday. Students and staff have enjoyed having the unique items for purchase, especially prior to Christmas.

“People have really responded to this,” Zart said. “My staff has been so helpful with this project too. My assistant manager, Vicki Wetter, has been very helpful; she’s been right by my side.”

As time goes on, Zart said she would like to continue with this project.

“As long as everybody keeps bringing things in, I’ll keep it up,” she stated. “People have thanked us for doing this; they’re very appreciative. It’s been a lot of fun for us to do this.”

Zart said she hopes the can collection and silent auctions for the college’s food pantry can continue as long as possible. She said she knows firsthand how important the food pantry is to the Southwest Tech students who need it.

“I know how important it was to me when I had to use it,” the 2006 SWTC graduate said. “I’m glad we can help out.”