New York Life celebrating opening by helping food bank

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 28, 2013 at 8:44 AM

New York Life will celebrate the grand opening of its new location at 1339 Moreland Drive in Kingsport today with the presentation of a $25,000 contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank’s food backpack program and a food drive to fill Second Harvest’s summer Lunch Express bus.

The $25,000 New York Life Community Impact Grant will provide more than 250 local schoolchildren who do not have enough to eat at home take-home packages of kid-friendly entrees and snacks every other Friday afternoon for an entire school year. The donation comes at time when the food bank’s need for sponsorships for the Food for Kids backpack program is greatest in the Kingsport area. Food Bank Executive Director Rhonda Chafin said the donation will have a lasting impact on the entire community.

The Lunch Express bus, one of three refurbished school buses that deliver prepared lunches to low-income children at 30 summer youth feeding sites across the eight-county region, will be parked outside the new New York Life office today from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The most-needed items include peanut butter, canned meats, stews, soups, vegetables, fruits, boxed pasta meals and macaroni and cheese.

New York Life’s contribution and all other food and cash gifts to Second Harvest made by April 30 will also help it earn a cash match from this year’s $1 million Feinstein Food Challenge. Now in its 15th year, the annual challenge provides a proportional match for every dollar and every pound of food donated to participating hunger-fighting agencies during March and April.

To add to the food bank’s share of the Feinstein million, donations may be made by mail to Second Harvest Food Bank, 127 Dillon Court, Gray, TN 37615, or dropped off at the food bank Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Good Samaritan Ministries is also taking part in the challenge and is encouraging area churches, business and schools to host a food drive for the ministry before April 30. The ministry is also asking everyone to spread the word that all food and monetary gifts to the ministry earmarked for food by April 30 will help Good Samaritan earn a greater Feinstein match. Donations may be made online at goodsamjc.org, by mail to Good Samaritan Ministries, P.O. Box 2441, Johnson City, TN 37605-2441, or at the ministry’s offices at 100 N. Roan St., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Johnson City Lions Club members will be making a trip to the Regional Eye Glasses Recycling Center in Roanoke, Va., on April 20 and are encouraging everyone to clean out their dresser drawers and chip in.

The Lions collect prescription eyeglasses and prescription and non-prescription sunglasses for worldwide distribution to people who have no other access to glasses. Last fall, the Johnson City club took 4,000 pairs of donated glasses to the recycling center and hope to match that number April 20.

To reach their goal, club members are asking everyone to drop off their unneeded glasses at specially marked Lions Recycle For Sight collection boxes located at both Johnson City Walmart stores, at any participating optometrist or ophthalmologist office in Washington County, at Town Hall in Jonesborough or at the new Memorial Park Community Center in Johnson City.

“We need everyone to donate their used eyeglasses,” said John Merriss, the Johnson City club’s president. “In many developing countries, eye care is often unaffordable or unavailable. An eye exam can cost as much as a month’s wages and there are few eye doctors. This program reaches hundreds of thousands of people every year, improving their lives by improving their sight.”

For more information about the project, visit johnsoncity.tnlions.org or lionsclubs.org.

The East Tennessee Christian Home & Academy is inviting everyone to reserve a seat for its benefit Night of Praise dinner auction to be held April 5 at Boones Creek Christian Church in Johnson City.

The silent auction will begin at 6 and the dinner will start at 6:30 at the church at 105 Christian Church Road, next door to Cracker Barrel just off I-26 Exit 107. Music will be provided by Greater Glory. The dinner is free and will include an opportunity to give to the ETCHA residential ministry for adolescent girls. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by Monday by calling 542-4423 or 895-0122. Donations to the ministry may also be made online at etcha.org.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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