Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee will begin bi-weekly food box distributions at Good Samaritan Ministries Friday to help the burgeoning number of people who are coming to the ministry in need of food.
The mobile pantry will distribute 10- to 20-pound boxes of nonperishable and perishable food items to up to 120 households Friday morning, beginning at 10 a.m. Rhonda Chafin, executive director of the regional food bank, said the Mobile Pantry will return to the ministry on Monday and Friday, Aug. 12, and will continue distributing food boxes at Good Samaritan until the ministry is better able to meet the need.
“We think this will begin easing some of the burden on Good Samaritan caused by the people who need food who are coming to their pantry daily,” Chaffin said. “With our Mobile Pantry, we try to help some of the areas we see that are under served. We have been helping Good Samaritan. They have been getting food from us for some time. The number of people who come to that pantry is putting a burden on them and they are struggling, so we will continue this until they get back on their feet.”
Beyond the food distributions at Good Samaritan, Chaffin said, “We see the need and we expect to continue downtown.”
All low-income households receiving Mobile Pantry food boxes must be screened for eligibility by the Good Samaritan social services office. The food bank is encouraging those in need of food who have not already been screened for eligibility to contact the ministry for screening in advance of Friday’s distribution.
Each Mobile Food Pantry distribution will continue until all the food is gone. Chafin said the quantity of food each eligible household receives will depend on the amount of perishable items — produce, breads, dairy products and possibly meat — the food bank receives in the days preceding each distribution through its Food Recovery Program conducted daily in partnership with all area grocers.
The ministry is located at 100 North Roan St. Extra volunteers will be needed at Good Samaritan beginning today to help screen applicants and to assist with the distributions.