North Side teaming up to 'Slam Dunk Cancer,' Second Harvest sounding shutdown alarm for food insecure

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Jan 16, 2019 at 10:33 PM

North Side Elementary School’s past and present faculty and staff will square off in a benefit basketball game to help one of their fellows in her battle with cancer.

The Slam Dunk on Cancer game will be played Monday night, Jan. 28, in the North Side gymnasium, beginning at 6:30, and the public is invited to help the school as it teams up to help the American Cancer Society and North Side kindergarten teacher Amy Barnett in her personal fight against cancer.

Current North Side teachers and administrators, dressed out as the “Now School Goodies,” will be taking on their predecessors, “Old School Oldies,” including Tonya Neas, Josh Simmons, Robert Hyder, Renee Wood, Melissa Whitehead, Damon Johnson and Johnny Tucker.

Old School cheerleaders lined up for the benefit include Johnnie Sue Hawley, Kaytee Jones, Nicole Cross, Eva Brummit, Kathie Storie, Heather Lawson, Gloria McClinton, Peggy Crumwell, Nikki Kirkland and Anna Smitley.

Admission will be by donation to help Barnett with travel and other expenses related to her treatment. Event T-shirts also will be available for purchase with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

North Side physical education teacher Nancy McDonald said the school is taking an offensive strategy against “the ugly disease of cancer” that often leaves people feeling helpless.

The benefit game will be played in honor of Barnett’s bravery in her fight and will also advance the cancer fighting work of the American Cancer Society, she said.

Donations and sponsors for student and class sets of event T-shirts may be made by contacting McDonald at 423-434-5249 or [email protected]

Second Harvest Food Bank is sounding the alarm that the ongoing government shutdown may put the nearly 72,000 food insecure residents of Northeast Tennessee at greater risk of hunger.

On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Human Services announced it will issue February’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to eligible Tennesseans on or before Jan 20, after which SNAP benefits will not be issued “until further notice.”

On Wednesday, a Second Harvest press release said uncertainty surrounding SNAP funding has left local hunger-fighting agencies and the people they serve “hanging in the balance.”

The release states, “Food bank officials are concerned about having enough food on hand to meet the increase in demand which may arise in the region” and are requesting the community’s help to shore up food supplies depleted by the recent holidays and by a two-year decline in food bank donations.

“January and February are critical months for the food bank because the need is already higher than usual. The government shutdown has created uncertainty surrounding funding for federal nutrition programs and with these programs hanging in the balance and food bank officials are concerned about having enough food on hand to meet the increase in demand which may arise in the region.”

According to the food bank, approximately 40,000 local adults, children and seniors a month depend on food from Second Harvest, which is distributed through 140 community-based pantries in Northeast Tennessee.

The food bank is requesting community members help by donating food, hosting food drives or, most effectively, by making a monetary donation online at www.netfoodbank.org or by mail to Second Harvest, 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN 37663. More information on how to help is available at the website or may be obtained by calling Second Harvest at 423-279-0430.

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, [email protected] or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.

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