Author Archives: foodbanknortheasttn

About foodbanknortheasttn

I am the community relations director for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee

There are many ways to help feed the hungry this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving will soon be here and Second Harvest needs your help to ensure that no one goes hungry. Your donations to Second Harvest mean that families in need have somewhere to turn for food assistance. There are many ways you can help. Food donations are being accepted at the many food drive locations listed in this email. You can make a general contribution on our website that assures for every $1 donated the food bank provides more than $7 worth of food for someone in need. You can also sponsor a family for Project Thanksgiving.

Here’s what one family said about the help they received last year,

“We are a small family from Mohawk, Tennessee. During the holiday period of Thanksgiving and Christmas work slows down for my husband. The Thanksgiving box we received last year GREATLY HELPED us during a very tight time, to have a great & wonderful Thanksgiving. My husband loves turkey and appreciated the help received, as does my entire family. God Bless everyone that helps out!!”

Project Thanksgiving is a special project of Christian Radio 88.3 WCQR. This is the eighth year of the campaign which strives to provide a Thanksgiving meal box for 6,000 people in need of food assistance for Thanksgiving in Northeast Tennessee. During week one of the campaign 600 boxes were sponsored. We thank everyone for supporting this effort but more sponsors are need to meet the need. Will you please consider supporting Project Thanksgiving? Your donation of $25 provides a Thanksgiving meal box with all the ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving meal for a family of four. Please make your donation by November 12 so the food can be distributed in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thank you to 88.3 WCQR radio for holding Project Thanksgiving for eight years!


Leave a comment

Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


All aboard the Lunch Express!

Kids enjoying snacks provided by the food bank

June 27, 2015
by Heidi Davis

“Oh look, there is a crowd already waiting for us, “I said as we pulled into our first stop of this summer on the Lunch Express. We had several parents and fifteen young, eager faces jumping around, ready to get on the Lunch Express for an early lunch.

“Come on in! Sit down and Ms. Heidi will bring you a lunch,” Wayne, our fearless bus driver, repeated as the line of kids filed past him for a squirt of hand sanitizer before taking a seat.

I spent a good deal of time during high school and college working in the afterschool programs and classrooms. One thing that stuck with me the most was children coming to those places hungry because they did not have enough food at home. My time spent learning about hunger in my community inspired me to become an advocate on hunger issues and to work with people in Northeast Tennessee and Feeding America-member Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to come up with creative ways to bridge our hunger gaps. This is my second summer volunteering to ride the Lunch Express and feed children through the summer feeding program. I am as excited and thankful for this program as the kids are each summer.

One in four children in rural Northeast Tennessee lives at or below the poverty level. Free and reduced school breakfasts and lunches help ensure these children don’t go hungry during the school year, but when school is out for the summer what can they do? Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee Summer Food Program is here to help. The food bank has operated a summer food program for our eight-county region since 2009 at sites like Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc. and other places where children in need of food assistance may gather. But for children who do not attend these programs, hunger during the summer may be something they face every day. Unable to make it to a traditional site? The Lunch Express comes to you!

Thanks to our donors and supporters, our food bank is able to provide the “Lunch Express” mobile summer food delivery program. The program, which started in 2012, utilizes four refurbished school buses and takes lunches every weekday to children in poor neighborhoods and remote areas of the region. The food bank hires local school bus drivers and Americorp and Summer VISTA workers to staff the project for a 10 week period during June and July.

Our first week we were feeding around 100 kids a day and there are three other bus routes traveling around neighboring counties feeding dozens more. Combine this with our traditional sites and we are feeding over 1000 children a day. They get a nutritious meal or snack five days a week and on the Lunch Express we are sending home food boxes for families every other week. From urban areas to rural places, we are reaching hungry kids and making an impact by helping our families manage food insecurity during the summer.


*Heidi Davis is a current Americorp member working to solve hunger in her community with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and as a program leader of Build It Up East TN.

**Photos courtesy of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


This is National Volunteer Week

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee Honored our Volunteers for over 20 Hours Service with Lunch Donated by McAlister’s Deli, Kingsport on April 14, 2015.

In observation of National Volunteer Week Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee recognized volunteers who have given 20 hours or more in service over the past year with a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch at the Food Bank, 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN on April 14, 2015. Food for the lunch was donated by McAlister’s® Deli, Kingsport. Volunteers are absolutely vital to the overall success of Second Harvest Food Bank. During 2014 over 15,000 volunteer hours were given – an average of 1,764 hours per month. In addition, ten workers were provided through VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and Americorp.

Each week volunteers sort and box food at the food bank warehouse, fill over 5,000 bags each month for the Food for Kids backpack program during the school year, help distribute food in various communities at over 40 Mobile Food Pantry sites, help give out health and nutrition information through the food bank’s new outreach program, help with office work and much more.

Volunteer information is available on the Second Harvest

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


Junior Leagues hold 25th Annual Food Drive on March 21 at Food City stores in Northeast TN and Southwest VA

Here’s one great way to make a difference. Help feed someone in need with a donation to the Junior League Food Drive March 21.

NORTHEAST, TN & SW VA –   The Junior Leagues of Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City are holding one of the region’s largest food drives again this year at Food City Stores in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The Junior Leagues encourage everyone to help feed the hungry with a food donation in the March 21 Food Drive. Last year over 18,000 pounds of food was collected and Junior League members are asking the community to help them raise even more food this year.  This is the 25th year of the food drive and the Food Banks applaud The Junior Leagues for their ongoing commitment to helping feed people in need in the region.

Look for food collection bins at participating Food City locations on Saturday, March 21. Junior League Members will give out paper collection bags at participating Food City locations to encourage people to donate food. Promotional fliers will be in area newspapers that week with a list of stores and most needed items including canned and boxed goods such as meats, vegetables, pastas and fruits.

The need for food assistance in our region is at an all-time high. As many as 1 out of 5 people may live in poverty and 2 out of 5 children may be hungry. The Food Banks will collect the donated food from the Food City stores in their areas and distribute through food bank agencies that feed the hungry. Both Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Feeding America of Southwest Virginia are members of Feeding America, the Nation’s largest Food Bank Network. Food Banks rely on support from the communities they serve to help feed people in need. Everyone who is able is encouraged to donate to the Food Drive.

The Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Junior Leagues reach out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to volunteerism.

For more information visit or

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


March is National Nutrition Month – We are sharing this good information on eating right and welcome your comments.

Eat Right

Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Eating Right on a Budget

Getting the most nutrition for your food budget starts with a little extra planning before you shop. There are many ways to save money on the foods that you eat. Here are some budget-friendly tips for eating right.

Plan what you’re going to eat

Before you head for the grocery store, plan your meals and snacks for the week. Review recipes for what ingredients are needed. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list of what you need to buy. When you shop with a list, you will be less likely to buy extra items that are not on it.

Decide how much to make

Making a large batch by doubling a recipe will save time in the kitchen later on. Extra portions can be used for lunches or meals later in the week, or freeze leftovers in individual containers for future use. Plus, foods purchased in bulk are almost always cheaper.

Determine where to shop

Check the local newspaper, online and at the store for sales and coupons, especially when it comes to more expensive ingredients, such as meat and seafood. While at the store, compare prices of different brands and different sizes of the same brand to see which has a lower unit price. The unit price is usually located on the shelf directly below the product.

Shop for foods that are in season

Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Your local farmer’s market is also a great source of seasonal produce. Just remember that some fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last long. Buy small amounts at a time to avoid having to throw away spoiled produce.

Try canned or frozen produce

At certain times of the year, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be less expensive than fresh. For canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with “low sodium” or “no salt added” on the label.

Focus on nutritious, low-cost foods

Certain foods tend to be less expensive, so you can make the most of your food dollars by finding recipes that use the following ingredients: beans, peas, and lentils; sweet or white potatoes; eggs; peanut butter; canned salmon, tuna or crabmeat; grains such as oats, brown rice, barley or quinoa; and frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.

Watch portion sizes

Eating too much of even lower cost foods and beverages can add up to extra dollars and calories. Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses to help keep portions under control. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with whole grains and lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans. This is an easy way to eat a balanced meal while controlling portions and cost. To complete the meal, add a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk or a serving of fat-free yogurt for dessert.

Make your own healthy snacks

Convenience costs money, so many snacks, even healthy ones, usually cost more when sold individually. Make your own snacks by purchasing large tubs of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and dividing them into one-cup containers. For trail mix, combine nuts, dried fruit and whole grain pretzels or cereal; store small portions in airtight containers. Air-popped popcorn and whole fresh fruits in season also tend to cost less compared to pre-packaged items.

Cook more, eat out less

Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Also, convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables and instant rice or oatmeal will cost you more than if you make them from scratch. Go back to basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


Participate in Hunger Action Month and Help Solve Hunger

Second Harvest NETN Food Bank Director, Rhonda Chafin with Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken

Second Harvest NETN Food Bank Director, Rhonda Chafin with Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken

Participate in Hunger Action Month and Help Solve Hunger


By Bob Aiken, Feeding America CEO

Nearly 49 million Americans struggle with hunger. These Americans live in every single county and congressional district in the U.S. Hunger is a real issue in America – and a major one at that. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. If we work together as a nation, we can solve hunger.

That’s why Feeding America created Hunger Action Month™, which takes place each September. Hunger Action Month is a nationwide campaign to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. The campaign brings greater attention to hunger in the U.S. and promotes ways for people everywhere to get involved in the movement to fight it.

You can help mobilize your community and get involved by taking any or all of the actions below.

Take Action Online:

  • TURN ORANGE FOR HUNGER RELIEF™ by making your Facebook and Twitter profiles orange on Hunger Action Day, Thursday, September 4th
  • DONATE your status and share your local hunger statistics on Facebook and Twitter.
  • LIKE & FOLLOW Feeding America and your local food bank on social media.
  • PLEDGE your support for the more than 1 in 5 kids in the United States who face hunger by signing Feeding America’s Feeding a Strong Future pledge.
  • INVITE your Member of Congress to visit a child feeding program of your local food bank. Congressional visits shine a spotlight on the role food banks play in solving child hunger.

Take Action In Your Community:

  • TURN ORANGE FOR HUNGER RELIEF™ by wearing orange on Hunger Action Day. Share a pic of your orange style socially with @FeedingAmerica and use the hashtag #HungerAction.
  • VOLUNTEER at your local food bank and be part of the hunger-relief solution. Share a pic of your volunteer experience with @FeedingAmerica via social media and use the hashtag #HungerAction

We can all do our part to solve hunger. This September, do you part by participating in Hunger Action Month. Visit to get involved.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2014 Map the Meal Gap Study Uncovers Hunger in Northeast Tennessee

Nation-wide Research Reveals Poverty to be Most Impactful to Consistent Food Access

Feeding America’s Annual Map the Meal Gap results released today show food insecurity continues to remain high in Northeast Tennessee . According to the newly released data, 14.8 percent of people in the area are food insecure, including 26,830 children.  Nationally, 15.9% of people are considered food insecure according to the study which also shows results state by state.  In Tennessee 17.1% of people are food insecure, above the national average.

Food insecurity is defined by the USDA as a socioeconomic condition of limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.  People with low food security say they are worried their food will run out, they cannot afford balanced meals, they cut the size of their meals or skipped meals.

“Studies like Map the Meal Gap 2014 allow Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to continue to evaluate and adjust to the need in our area. The research data includes weekly food-budget shortfalls, demographics and poverty levels which help us define the social issues plaguing our area and work together as a community to find a solution. Local key findings show the average cost of a meal is $2.77 and the weekly food-budget shortfall is $534,330. This means that 72,580 individuals may be food insecure in Northeast Tennessee.  The average number of people receiving food assistance from agencies and programs of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is 40,000 per month.

Map the Meal Gap 2014 is a detailed analysis of food insecurity done by Feeding America and the only study available that provides county–level estimates of food insecurity in the United States. The information is provided in an interactive map that allows viewers to find out how widespread hunger is in their community. The map can be found at




Research for the study was generously supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen.


“Hunger is a pervasive and solvable problem plaguing every corner of America today,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “By continuing to provide extensive and revealing data like the 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, we will be able to tackle these issues head-on and be armed with the information needed to work towards making sure everyone has enough to eat.”


The Map the Meal Gap 2014 analysis was developed by Dr. Craig Gundersen for Feeding America. Food-insecurity rates are based on a state-level model that allows for the population in need of food at the county and congressional district level. Additionally, Feeding America worked in collaboration with Nielsen to arrive at estimates for food-cost variation by county. Results were reviewed by the Feeding America Technical Advisory Group in order to ensure accuracy and promote transparency.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , ,