Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee opened its doors in 1978 with commitment from several community leaders and groups. The purpose of the organization was to provide a central distribution center for companies, groups and individuals who wished to help provide food for hungry people in Middle Tennessee.
Modeled after the first food bank, established in Phoenix in the mid-1970s, Second Harvest was designed to collect food that would otherwise be wasted, inspect and sort this food, and distribute it to soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters serving the hungry. During the first year, this process resulted in a total distribution of 160,000 pounds of food to 75 member agencies.
Today, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is one of the largest and most comprehensive of over 200 food banks and food distribution centers nationwide. During the 2016/2017 fiscal year, Second Harvest distributed more than 32 million pounds of food to more than 490 Partner Agencies, providing more than 26 million meals of food to hungry children, families and seniors throughout our 46-county service area.
Second Harvest’s mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community.
With one in seven Middle Tennesseans at risk of hunger every day, Second Harvest works to distribute food to those who need it most through a suite of programs that include those listed below.
Our grocery rescue program, Middle Tennessee’s Table, uses a fleet of 18 tractor-trailers to travel over 750,000 miles annually to recover food from more than 200 grocery retailers, distribution centers and manufacturers.
Our Partner Agencies Program distributes more than 23 million meals to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, childcare centers, senior centers, group homes, and youth enrichment programs that serve food insecure children, families and seniors.
Our Children’s Feeding programs provide food to 28 School Food Pantries, serve 6,021 chronically hungry children through a weekend BackPack program, and provide 123,833 meals and snacks through after-school programs.
Our Mobile Pantry program helps small hunger fighting partner agencies distribute large quantities of food in large-scale, one-day distributions. Last year, 240 Mobile Pantry distributions provided 4 million meals to rural Tennessee communities in need.
Second Harvest operates many other programs that help ensure that emergency food resources are available to our neighbors in need, throughout our service area.
What Would You Do with 100 Volunteer Hours and $5,000?
A $5,000 gift to Second Harvest represents 20,000 meals we will provide to families struggling with food insecurity. Second Harvest would use Regions’ 100 volunteer hours in our distribution center, sorting and organizing food for distribution throughout our 46-county service area.