The Tri-Cities Junior Leagues’ annual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and the Feeding America food bank of Southwest Virginia is one of the largest of the year for the food banks, and this year will help a record-high number of people receiving monthly food assistance.
Volunteers from the Junior Leagues of Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol will be collecting donations Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Food City stores across the Tri-Cities. For those who wish to make donations early, collection barrels were placed near the stores’ entrances this weekend and will remain in place through Saturday.
“They’ve been doing it for 23 years,” said Kathy Smith, communications director for Second Harvest food bank.
“This year they are joining forces again and encouraging everyone to get involved. Food banks rely on support from the communities they serve. ... Everyone who is able is encouraged to donate.”
Smith said the drive assists people in need of food across the region and this year comes at a time when need for food banks’ assistance is at an all-time high.
Since January, food from Second Harvest has gone out to an estimated 39,000 people in eight counties of Northeast Tennessee every month, up from 38,000 people monthly in 2012.
Smith also cited recent poverty studies that show as many as one out of five people live in poverty in Northeast Tennessee and two out of five children in the region may be going hungry.
“The Junior Leagues of Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol along with Food City are responding to the increased need,” Smith said. Items most needed at the food banks include canned and boxed goods including meats, vegetables, pastas and fruits.
More details about the food drive can be found on the Junior League flier inserted in today’s Johnson City Press and Kingsport Times-News.
More information may also be obtained by calling Second Harvest at 477-4053, Feeding America Southwest Va. at 276-628-9266, the Junior League of Johnson City at 282-6998, the Junior League of Kingsport at 245-1321 or the Junior League of Bristol at 276-669-4511. More information is available online at juniorleagueofjc.com, jlkingsport.org and jlbristol.org.