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Beta Club’s ‘can do’ benefits Food Pantry

Discovering the overlooked areas of need in Lincoln County isjust one of the many goals of the Loyd Star High School BetaClub.

Each year the students perform a variety of services to improvethe community, with their most recent effort ending earlier thisweek.

The almost 40 members of the Beta Club collected over 3,200canned goods from parents, teachers and students for the secondyear in a row to benefit the Lincoln County Emergency FoodPantry.

Brookhaven Ministerial Association started the Food Pantry in1986 as a way to assist needy families in a state of emergency.

“The key word is emergency. . . like if someone loses their jobor there’s a house fire or something devastating like that,” saidthe Rev. W.A. Matthews, who heads the Food Pantry. “We try to fillin when the routine system fails.”

Matthews was thrilled about the Beta Club’s donation, sincedonations are what allow the Food Pantry to exist inBrookhaven.

“It’s a big boost to us. It’s quite a donation, and we reallyappreciate it,” said Matthews.

The donated items of canned foods will save the organizationabout $1,200, he said.

Beta Club sponsors Shannon and Kimmy Eubanks said thatcollecting the canned food was a fun task for the students.

“The kids have enjoyed doing it. We had a real good response,”said Shannon Eubanks.

One reason the drive was so successful was due to the assistanceof teachers who looked for creative ways to motivate students togive to the needy, Eubanks said. Many Loyd Star teachers offeredbonus points for students who donated canned food.

“One of the families said their kids were making them brokebecause they wanted to donate so much,” laughed Kimmy Eubanks.

Beta Club members also donated their time by dividing the cansinto groups and boxing the items before taking them to the FoodPantry.

Once all the cans were received, Maggie Smith filled the bed ofher truck with boxes, while the rest were stacked high in a schoolbus, creating a great sense of accomplishment for the students.

“Some of the students who helped last year enjoyed it so much,they begged to help again this year,” said Kimmy Eubanks.

The students chose to donate to the Food Pantry because theybelieve it is not recognized as much as other charitableorganizations.

“We wanted to reach out to an area that really needed our help,”said Shannon Eubanks.

Other ways the Beta Club has worked to be a driving force inimproving the community is by adopting a section of Jackson LibertyRoad to keep clean, offering free tutoring, establishing ascholarship for a senior Beta Club member and donating money to theBlair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, which has served a number ofLoyd Star students.