TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s homecoming week in Tuscaloosa, and many University of Alabama student volunteers gave back to the community for Day of Service projects.  

For two days this week, 250 UA students worked at the West Alabama Food Bank, loading food boxes for the elderly. Others worked at Jeremiah’s Community Garden, planting and harvesting crops.

UA student Jenna Hartzler said it feels good knowing her giving back is helping to feed so many elderly residents in nine local counties in west Alabama.

“Getting involved in organizations like this and helping the community around you really makes an impact on you and those around you,” Hartzler said. “And you might come to Alabama for four years, but the impact you make will last lot longer.”

UA student and volunteer Caroline Moore agrees with Hartzler and said this experience this week makes it feels good to give back.

“It really makes me feel a sense of gratitude,” Moore said. “I feel it’s so important to help and to give back to those in need, and it’s really inspiring.”

Jean Rykaczweski is also a big fan of Day of Service projects. She is the CEO of West Alabama Food Bank.

“For us, having the student’s volunteers from UA is a great partnership, especially this week for homecoming,” Rykaczweski said. “They are taking their time, and giving back to us is a real statement to the students, and we couldn’t survive without the students here. We rely on them a lot and the sororities and special groups. We are thankful for their support.”

Every year, the West Alabama Food Bank delivers 6 million pounds of food to those in need.