UT Students clearing grocery store shelves for charity

The 'Kroger' brand canned food items are cleared from the shelves. / Source: WVLT News
The 'Kroger' brand canned food items are cleared from the shelves. / Source: WVLT News(WVLT)
Published: Oct. 29, 2019 at 6:30 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Student groups at The University of Tennessee have been raiding the canned food isles of Knoxville grocery stores this week.

UT's All Campus Events organization is having their annual ' tower of cans' competition as a part of their homecoming celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The competition will be held at UT's recycling center.

During this competition, registered groups collect as many canned food items as possible and then compete to see who can stack their cans the highest. After the game is over, students will donate the cans to local food pantries.

"I'm not from Knoxville, but I go to school here and it's given me so much, so this gives me a chance to give back to the city that I now call home." said Abby Naifeh, a member of UT's Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.

Seeing store shelves completely clean took Kroger Store Manager Michael Gonzales by surprise. He said he initially thought sales were just higher than usual.

"We love seeing our brand feeding the community of course so we're really excited about that, but obviously we didn't know- that's why our shelves are empty, but we're working on some replenishment orders to get it back where it needs to be." said Gonzalez.

The 'Tower of Cans' competition is one of the University's biggest ways of giving back during homecoming week. According to ACE the participation grows more each year.

"They really get into the competitive part of it and it's so exciting that even if it's not a physical competition, that they're still so excited to run to their local grocery store and grab as many cans as they can off the shelves." said ACE PR Chair Carlie Malone.

"In the last few years, they have really upped the amount of cans that they are bringing, so we're really happy to see how much we are able to donate this year." said ACE Homecoming Chair Katelyn Emerson.

Copyright 2019 WVLT. All rights reserved.