May 12, 2020 | Featured , Access and Diversity

Columbia State Hosts One Generation Away For Mobile Food Pantry Event

People at food pantry event
Photo Caption: Over 150 community volunteers work to assemble food bags for those in need during One Generation Away’s mobile food pantry drive-thru event.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn.  May 6, 2020) - - -Columbia State Community College hosted One Generation Away’s mobile food pantry Saturday, May 2 which distributed an estimated 33,000 pounds of food to more than 400 families. 

Chris Whitney, founder and director of One Generation Away, reached out to Columbia State to see if there was an opportunity to host the mobile drive-thru event at the Columbia Campus. 


Photo Caption: Volunteers help to unpack 33,000 pounds of food to distribute during One Generation Away’s mobile food pantry drive-thru event.

“There is so much need in our communities right now; we were excited for the opportunity to host One Generation Away for this event,” said Dr. Christa Martin, Columbia State assistant to the president for access and diversity. “We look forward to more opportunities to work with them again in the future.”

Over 150 community volunteers showed up to help distribute the food. Among the volunteers were members of the Columbia State family, including Martin; Olivia Holt, Columbia State women’s soccer team member; Buffy Holt, Columbia State alumna and Olivia’s mother; Amy Spears-Boyd, Columbia State director of communications; Kiara Simerly, daughter of Spears-Boyd; and Louis Conner, Columbia State retiree.

“One Generation Away is a wonderful organization and we were thankful to be able to donate our time back to our community to help those in need,” Spears-Boyd said. “This is also a good reminder that Columbia State is here to support the community through educational opportunities, workforce development and as a community partner.”

According to Whitney, One Generation Away gave away 2.5 million pounds of food last year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the need has continued to grow. Last month, they handed out more than 1 million pounds of food.

To learn more about One Generation Away, visit

Check out One Generation Away’s video from the event:

Watch this aerial drone footage shot by the Columbia Police Department: