News & Updates

Drive Away Hunger Challenge Hopes To Collect 100,000 Pounds of Food

The Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group’s Drive Away Hunger Challenge has expanded to include Franklin Special School District and Williamson County elementary schools.

The schools join Williamson County and Franklin Special middle schools and Williamson County high schools who have been participating in the challenge. With the addition of the elementary schools the challenge hopes to collect 100,000 pounds of food this school year for GraceWorks’ food pantry.  

“We couldn’t be more pleased about the addition of our local elementary schools to the Drive Away Hunger Challenge,” said John Gallagher, vice president and general manager of the Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group. “Our goal is to provide a vehicle that gives students an opportunity to make a difference in their community while also creating a learning experience connecting them to the needs of others. Thanks to the addition of the elementary schools we now have three opportunities to fill GraceWorks’ food pantry each school year.”  

The first elementary Drive Away Hunger Challenge is tentatively set for Jan. 23 through Feb. 3. The middle school challenge is March 28 through April 14.

“We are excited regarding the expansion of the “Drive Away Hunger Challenge” to all FSSD schools during the 2016-2017 school year,” said David Snowden, Franklin Special School District Director of Schools. “Our middle schools have done a great job in the challenge the past two years and we look forward to the elementary schools joining in the efforts for such a great cause.

“We are fortunate to have great students, parents, and faculty/staff members who are always willing to support those who are less fortunate. We are so appreciative of this partnership with Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group, GraceWorks and Williamson County Schools as we help to serve our community.”

News of the expansion comes just as the 5th Annual High School Drive Away Hunger Challenge kicks off next week. Each Williamson County high school participates in the Challenge Sept. 12-30. Challenge prizes include the official Drive Away Hunger Challenge trophy, as well as $1,250 for the school that collects the most pounds of food and $1,250 for the school that collects the highest average weight per student.  

“The relationship our secondary schools have built with GraceWorks and Darrell Waltrip Automotive continues to afford students the opportunity to engage and better understand the importance of community service,” said Charles Farmer, assistant superintendent for middle and high schools in the Williamson County district. “On behalf of Williamson County Schools, I want to thank these organizations for sustaining the Drive Away Hunger Challenge. The fruits of everyone’s labor continue to be an exceptional reminder of what civicmindedness really means to this great county.”

Current items on GraceWorks wish list include microwavable meat meals, canned/packaged meat, Vienna sausages, cereal, fruit cups, applesauce, macaroni and cheese, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, Jif-to-go, Propel flavored water/Gatorade, popcorn, Ramen noodles, pudding/Jello cups, shelf stable milk and juice boxes.  

The Drive Away Hunger Challenge was started four years ago by the Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group as a fundraising event partnering Williamson County high schools with GraceWorks. In the past four years, the challenge has grown to include Franklin Special School District and Williamson County elementary and middle schools and has collected more than 144,000 pounds of food for the pantry at GraceWorks. For more information about the challenge visit


GraceWorks was founded in 1995 and last year helped Williamson County neighbors with 50,069 needs valued at $4.5 million. GraceWorks welcomes donations of food, as well as clothing and household items for its thrift and furniture stores. Large items such as furniture and appliances in excellent condition can be picked up by calling 794-9055 x114 or emailing Volunteers are also always welcome. More information on volunteering and upcoming events is available at

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