Volunteers packing emergency food boxes at Second Harvest helping with coronavirus response

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ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) – So many in East Tennessee are coming together to support one another during such a confusing time. The coronavirus outbreak changing everyday life and everyday operations.

Earlier this week, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee sharing that their staffers are in crisis mode, making sure families don’t go hungry.

More: Second Harvest Food Bank: ‘We are in crisis mode,’ amid COVID-19 concerns

On Saturday, we visited their warehouse as volunteers packed emergency food boxes that will be distributed to families in need.

“Every time someone has come in here, they always feel like their work is valuable but it’s fair to say even more so now,” said Brian Baldwin with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

Many food pantries are temporarily closed right now because of the coronavirus, that’s why Second Harvest is packing roughly three to five days worth of food in emergency boxes.

“It can be scary because none of us know what’s going to happen but just gotta keep doing what we gotta do,” said Baldwin.

“It doesn’t feel like we did that much but no matter how many we did, it’s still a family being served,” said volunteer Clay Childress.

Hundreds of boxes are stacked in the warehouse, waiting to go out to families in need.

“There are a lot of people struggling right now but we’re not the most vulnerable in the situation, so just trying to give back what we can,” said volunteer Lizzy Childress.

Second Harvest hoping more people will sign up to volunteer over the coming days.

“My heart feels really confused and really sad and scared, but I think that puts you in a place to think how can I not feel these things and move forward, helping people the best way we know how to,” said Lizzy.

If you would like to give a financial donation, Second Harvest says $140 can feed a family of four for two weeks. You can donate by clicking here.

Changes have been made to how people can volunteer, groups cannot be greater than 10 people. If you would like to donate your time by packing food boxes, sign up by clicking here.

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