Second Harvest Food Bank asks for help as summer stores dwindle

Second Harvest Food Bank asks for help as summer stores dwindle

Volunteers help to organize food donations. Volunteers help to organize food donations.

6 News Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - With kids out of school for the summer, many young ones don't get the nutritious meals they once had while hitting the books.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, once again, needs help to make sure East Tennessee youngsters don't go hungry during the hot summer days.

Monday marked the launch of Second Harvest's No Hunger Summer campaign.

It's the first campaign of its kind. The goal is to raise $100,000 in one week to provide enough food to meet the increased summer demand.  

"When you're providing one million meals a month, as big as this warehouse is, it goes out really fast," said Second Harvest Executive Director Elaine Streno

Streno said the goal is ambitious, but is greatly needed since donations to the food bank slow down in the summer.

"This is the time of year we don't get a lot of attention. The holidays are great, but summertime, people are usually vacationing and doing a lot of other busy things," she said.

On top of that, the demand for food assistance is going up 30% nationwide.

And in Second Harvest's 18 county service area, the number of kids needing assistance has doubled to more than 3,000.

"Even though the economy seems to be turning around, that demand seems to be steady, so we're just dealing with all the challenges of being able to get the food to the people who need it, how are we going to do that?, and the funding needed to buy the food," Streno said.

Right now, volunteers are processing around three truckloads of donated food. And while that may seem like a lot, Second Harvest is hoping to bring in at least double that amount in the week-long period.

If Second Harvest hits their goal of raising $100,000, they'll be able to provide 300,000 meals.

There are two ways to donate:

Call 865-243-8227 where check or credit card contributions will be accepted.

Visit Second Harvest's website.

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