Every September marks Hunger Action Month, a national campaign promoted by Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks.
A Feeding America food bank serves everywhere in the country, according to Taylor Loyal, Rutherford County Development Manager with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee—the food bank responsible for supplying meals to those who need it in Nashville, Murfreesboro and surrounding areas this month and every month.
“We work with other agencies like Greenhouse Ministries, Salvation Army and Midland Baptist Church” to help identify the families in need, Loyal said. “These partner agencies know where the people are.”
Some who have never experienced poverty remain unaware of the hunger issues in their own neighborhood.
“Even in a community that’s as prosperous as Rutherford County,” Loyal said. “37,000 in Rutherford County are considered ‘food insecure.’
“Logistics is a big part of what we do,” he said, speaking of the charitable organization’s coordination of getting food from grocery stores and donors, to the food bank, to the families who need it.
Loyal said he believes that most of the individuals served by Second Harvest are hardworking people who do desire to provide for themselves and their families, but who have just experienced a significant difficulty in their lives.
“The majority of people we help have just lost a job, just got diagnosed with cancer, just got divorced, had a life event or two or three,” Loyal told the Pulse.
He admires Second Harvest as an organization, and emphasizes the group does its best to keep administration costs down—96 percent of donations to Second Harvest go directly toward feeding the hungry, he said.
Second Harvest always welcomes donations of food, but oftentimes, people will donate the can of corn that has been in the pantry for 8 years, or the cheapest pack of ramen at the grocery.
Second Harvest would really prefer monetary donations, because with the arrangements they have with grocery stores and other organizations, the group can really get a bang for its buck, Loyal said.
Every dollar donated equals four square meals for folks in the community.
“Thirty percent of the food we distribute now is fresh local produce,” Loyal continued. While peanut butter and canned goods are also important pieces of the puzzle, it’s important for families to also have those fresh vegetables on their table as well, he said.
Some area businesses joining the Second Harvest cause this month:
• The Curious Kitchen will donate $1 for every BLT sold in September
• The Block will donate $1 for every burger sold in September
• The Alley on Main will donate $1 for every meatball pasta or Alley Sammie sold in September
• The Artful Doughnut will donate $1.50 for every dozen doughnuts sold in September
• Mayday Brewery will donate proceeds from barrel-aged Going ComMango on Thursday, Sept. 15.
• Ford of Murfreesboro will donate $5 for every test drive taken in September
For more information on getting involved in contributing to the Second Harvest mission, contact Loyal at email@example.com or (615) 585-6390; if you or someone you know could use some assistance in providing food for your family, learn more at secondharvestmidtn.org.