UT Health East Texas Olympic Centers kicked off a food drive Friday benefiting the East Texas Food Bank.

Throughout the month of November, donation barrels from the East Texas Food Bank will be placed at Olympic Center locations in Tyler, Lake Palestine, Cedar Creek Lake, Jacksonville, Hideaway Lake, Chandler, Mineola, Rusk and Pittsburg. UT Health Tyler, Jacksonville and Pittsburg also will have a donation barrel at their main hospital locations.

Greg Maschal, director of UT Health East Texas Olympic Centers, said this is the ninth consecutive year the Olympic Centers have hosted the food drive. Last year, they reached their fundraising goal and collected more than 25 barrels of food.

“Part of our mission statement is that we improve the quality of life in the communities we serve and we feel strongly that that doesn’t stop within the four walls of our facilities,” Maschal said.

“The community has supported us for 24 years and we feel it’s important to give back to the community,” Maschal said. “I can’t think of another organization that epitomizes improving quality of life better than the East Texas Food Bank.”

Anyone may drop off canned or nonperishable food items at Olympic Center locations. Also, any new member who donates 10 or more items will have their enrollment fees waived.

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