Common Food Bank Facts
The mission of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is to feed the hungry by securing donations of food from national and local manufacturers, grocers, and individuals then redistribute that food to 200 food pantries, soup kitchens, children’s programs and other non-profit charities that feed the hungry in our region.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee was founded in May 1986 as the Tri-Cities Regional Food Bank. Two local residents began the work of the Food Bank by collecting a trunk load of apples. That first year 68,000 pounds of food was distributed to 30 agencies feeding the hungry in the Tri-Cities Tennessee region. The first paid staff member was also hired.
In Fiscal Year 2013, the Food Bank distributed 8.8 million pounds of food to hungry families and individuals in Northeast Tennessee, the equivalent to over 7.3 million meals, to its partner agencies, programs and services.
Agencies served by Second Harvest Food Bank include qualified not-for-profit agencies and churches that provide food at no cost to needy Northeast Tennesseans. These include emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters for homeless adults, children and abused spouses, daycare centers for children and the elderly, residential facilities for the developmentally disabled and after-school and summer programs for children.
Food is currently provided for an average of 39,000 people per month through Second Harvest Food Bank's agencies, programs and services, the highest number of people the Food Bank has ever served. Since 2007, Second Harvest has seen a 56% increase in the number of households requiring emergency food assistance.
The most recent (2011) Census data reveal that there are 98,292 people (1 out of every 5 residents) living in poverty in Northeast Tennessee (out of a general population of 507,691). Childhood poverty is even more prevalent: more than 1 in 4 children under age 18 (29,474 children) live in poverty in the region.
Food donations are secured from local and national manufacturers, grocers, restaurants and individuals. Nutritious food staples must be purchased to ensure a constant supply.
Please help us fight hunger. No one should go hungry because they do not have enough food. Hunger is a serious problem, but together we can make a difference. We are a member of the America’s Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network which is a national hunger relief organization.