Food bank almost back to normal after flash flood

Food bank almost back to normal after flash flood


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Rainfall on Wednesday brought more helpers to Second Harvest Food Bank in Knoxville. 

The food bank's warehouse in North Knoxville was swamped last week with floodwater that ruined much of the food.

After losing $150,000 worth of food to the damage. Second Harvest is almost whole again.

"Bottom line is, we are way ahead of where we thought we would be because of volunteers and all the help we've been getting from the community," said Second Harvest Executive Director Elaine Streno.

That includes the help from Knoxville's Leadership Foundation which lured dozens of volunteers from Gonzaga University and the University of Tampa.

The students traveled to Knoxville to repair homes, but their plans changed on Wednesday.

"The past two days we took off a roof, replaced a roof and painted around the house but today the weather isn't all that great for it," said Tampa student Elizabeth Knight.

So instead of taking a break, the rain brought them to the food bank.

"It's nice to be warm but we are from Spokane so I think we brought the weather with us, sorry, apologies," said Gonzaga student Bryan Rinkus.

All joking aside, the volunteers say giving back is key. "It teaches us a lot about how privileged we are and how gifted our lives have been," said Gonzaga student Matt Wintheiser.

"It's always great when young people come out to help their neighbors. That's what we are about, helping our neighbors," said Dan Myers, with the Knoxville Leadership Foundation.

The students had a pretty fast system down. In a about half an hour, they labeled and boxed up to 600 cans.  

Wednesday's hard work means Second Harvest will have thousands of cans organized and ready to go. 

The food bank warehouse will re-open on Thursday and resume food donations starting next week. But Second Harvest says it's more in need of monetary donations.

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