According to U.S. Department of Agriculture research, 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are at times uncertain of where their next meal will come from.
Rhonda Chafin, Second Harvest’s executive director, said the latest USDA numbers show the local need for food assistance remains huge, with 73,240 people in Northeast Tennessee, including one out of every four children, without adequate nutrition.
To help improve those numbers, the food bank is encouraging community members to support the food bank’s mission to close the gap on hunger by volunteering and donating food and money to its programs.
“People we serve need to have access to enough healthy food, especially our children, who cannot grow, succeed or learn on an empty stomach,” Chafin said.
Hunger Action Month is intended to raise awareness of the realities of hunger through efforts focused on the direct correlation between hunger and health. Sept. 14 has been designated as Hunger Action Day when food banks across the country will join forces to make a greater impact.
Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee is asking its supporters to mark the day by joining the national conversation of hunger’s realities by writing on a paper plate what they could not do without adequate nutrition, snapping a picture of their plate and sharing it on social media using the hashtag #HungerActionMonth.
Chafin encouraged everyone to learn more about food bank’s programs and ways they can be involved by visiting netfoodbank.org or Second Harvest’s page on Facebook, or by calling the food bank at 423-279-0430.
The Hunger Action Month opportunities include:
• Donating $30 or 30 canned food items to the food bank. Every dollar donated to Second Harvest will provide 3.5 meals for a local person in need.
• Taking part in Second Harvest’s Walk of Remembrance from 2-4 p.m Sunday, Sept. 10, on Duck Island at Warriors Path State Park.
• Volunteering in the annual Second Harvest Day of Service and Remembrance Monday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m.-noon at the food bank at 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport.
Donations to Second Harvest may be made online at netfoodbank.org or by mail to 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN 37663.
Outdoor enthusiasts can join the fight against local hunger at the annual Pinnacle Trail Challenge and Hunger Hike Saturday, Sept. 30, in Unicoi.
Hosted by the Unicoi Business Alliance the event includes a foot race to the top of Buffalo Mountain and a family-friendly walk along the town’s popular Pinnacle Trail to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee
The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Unicoi Tourist Information and Visitors Center at 106 Unicoi Village Place and conclude at the Pinnacle Fire Tower at the top of the mountain. The entry fee is $35. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers.
The free, family Hunger Hike will start at 9. a.m. Donations of canned goods for the food bank will be collected.
Early registration can be completed online through Sept. 24 at runtricities.net. For more information about the event, contact Jeff Linville at 423-220-9821.
If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538 or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.
Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.