February 13, 2017 Melissa Lamar

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Tunxis Community College’s food pantry received a special donation from a Farmington kindergartener on February 6.

For his sixth birthday a couple of days prior, Joey Amara, son of Tunxis adjunct business instructor Crystal Amara, asked his friends to bring food donations for [email protected] to his celebration instead of gifts. The party of 35, from his classes at Noah Wallace School and Wheeler YMCA karate, enjoyed a Farmington High School basketball game together while donating dozens of bags filled with boxes and cans of food to benefit less fortunate Tunxis students.

Right to left: Joey Amara, age 6, is shown with his mom Crystal Amara and sister Lucy, age 4, who helped him bring in over a dozen bags filled with boxes and cans of food.

“Joey was so excited to include everyone and even more excited at the thought of everyone contributing to the pantry,” said his mom, Crystal Amara. “When I told him there was a food pantry at the college where I work, he thought it was great—he has a real sense of pride and connectedness to Tunxis.”

“We are very appreciative of the Amara’s generosity,” said Tunxis President Cathryn L. Addy, Ph.D. “It’s heartening to hear stories of families who are teaching their children about the importance of compassion and giving to those who are less fortunate.”

One of over 300 college pantries across the country, [email protected] opened in September to provide short-term food assistance to Tunxis students who may be experiencing financial difficulties. The pantry seeks to alleviate the barriers and challenges associated with food insecurity (not being able to afford nourishing meals) and hunger so that students can remain in school and earn their degrees.

The Tunxis food pantry is a joint volunteer effort of employees and students throughout the college. Tunxis students are be able to access nonperishable food, household, and personal care items twice a month and receive a total of 20 items per month by showing a valid Tunxis student ID.

The pantry is consistently in need of food and grocery store gift cards. A list of requested donation items is posted on the pantry website at tunxis.edu/pantry, and can be donated to the pantry during open hours. Donation boxes are also located in the 100 Building main entrance and in the 700 Building lobby. Donations may be in the form of nonperishable food, personal care items or gift cards to local grocery stores. Cash donations are also accepted through the Cashier’s Office (860.773.1315). Please contact [email protected] or call 860.773.1631 with any questions about donations.

Tunxis Community College offers over 60 associate degrees and certificates, providing critical thinking and problem-solving skills that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need.

Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington. For a map of campus, visit tunxis.edu/map.