2018 Rogers Scholar Tara Johnson delivers food from the community food drive to the Jackson County Food Bank.

Thanks to a community food drive organized by 2018 Rogers Scholar Tara Johnson, the Jackson County Food Bank was able to feed more families this holiday season.

Johnson, a junior at Jackson County High School, coordinated a Thanksgiving food drive in Jackson County for her Rogers Scholars community service project.

Two weeks before the start of the Thanksgiving holidays, Johnson set up donation boxes at churches, schools, and businesses throughout the community to collect food and monetary donations for the Jackson County Food Bank.

“This project meant that I could help someone less fortunate than me on a holiday of thanks,” Johnson said. “It helped me understand what life is like in the county around me and that I can do a lot to help.”

The local food bank normally serves around 400 families per month, but the need for donations increases dramatically over the holidays.

Johnson, through her “Show Your Thankfulness by Donating to the Jackson County Food Bank” campaign, collected 810 food items (with an estimated value of $1,849) and more than $200 in donations for families who otherwise might not have had a Thanksgiving dinner.

“She collected more items by herself than any other donor has” for the Jackson County Food Bank, said food bank founder Joyce Marks.

Johnson partnered with Rite Aid of McKee, Jackson County High School, Annville Baptist Church, Letterbox Baptist Church, Jackson County Food Bank, Joyce Marks, Jackson County Judge-Executive Shane Gabbard, David Wilson, Walgreen’s Corporation, and Appalachian Wireless to carry out the Rogers Scholars community service project.

“I want to thank everyone who helped make this project so successful, whether it was through donations, helping to deliver food, or getting the word out,” Johnson said. “I would not have been able to do this project without the training from Rogers Scholars.”

Johnson is the daughter of Tony and Tammy Johnson of Annville.