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Community rallies to battle summer hunger

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated May 22, 2019 at 10:11 PM

Area schools are dismissing for summer and many area families will soon be hard pressed to keep their children well nourished without the the free and reduced price school meals nearly 40,000 Northeast Tennessee children receive at school.

To help make sure as many of those children as possible do not go without, a number of area groups are inviting the community to join them in the fight against summer hunger, beginning with Second Harvest Food Bank.

For golf enthusiasts, the 26th annual Second Harvest Golf Classic is lined up for Monday, June 3, at the Blackthorn Club in Jonesborough.

Sponsored by local Bill Gatton dealerships, it’s a day of golf for a very good cause that begins with lunch by Carrabas at noon and a shotgun start at 1, with team prizes, door prizes and $25,000 in cash for a hole in one all up for grabs.

It’s a popular tournament, and as of Wednesday, only a few player slots remained. Interested golfers are invited to register online at www.netfoodbank.org or by calling the food bank at 423-279-0430, ext. 201.

During June, donations to the food bank will have a double impact on food insecurity in the eight counties of Northeast Tennessee, thanks to a group of generous Second Harvest supporters who will be matching all contributions up to a maximum total of $50,000.

The Summer Commitment Campaign takes into consideration that childhood hunger doesn't take a summer vacation and children are in fact at higher risk of hunger when they are without access to breakfast and lunch programs or Second Harvest's Food for Kids Backpack program available at school.

Donations to the food bank earmarked for the Summer Commitment may be made on the food bank’s website www.netfoodbank.org or by mail to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN 37663.

Bite Squad, the restaurant delivery service, and its local restaurant partners are also stepping up to help the 1 in 4 children in Northeast Tennessee who are food insecure regardless of the season and at even greater risk when school is out for summer.

Through Sunday, June 2, Bite Squad customers are invited to donate nonperishable food items to Bite Squad drivers as they make their deliveries or drop off their donations at Bite Squad’s restaurant partners, which includie Asian House, Beef O’Brady’s and El Charolais’ Johnson City locations and Hooters across the Tri-Cities.

Those making donations will receive a coupon for a free Bite Squad delivery on their next order. And to top it all off, Bite Squad will donate 10 percent of all its Tri-Cities proceeds, up to a maximum of $5,000, for the food bank’s summer feeding programs.

To place an order at any of 45 Johnson City eateries, visit www.bitesquad.com. Delivery fees start at $2.99.

At One Acre Cafe, where everyone eats regardless of their ability to pay and the year-round Kids Eat Free program is an even more valuable resource when school is out, there’s a five-course fundraising dinner coming up Sunday, June 9.

Prepared by Gourmet & Company’s Chef John Bryant, the “Ode to an Early Summer Supper in the South” will begin with a shell bar, including Gulf Oysters on the shell, Mignonette, Granita, Smoked Trout Caviar, Chilled Peeled East Coast Shrimp, Salsa Verde, Beer Steamed Sapelo Island Clams and that’s just for starters.

Live music will be provided by Scott Wild. Tickets are $70 and may be purchased at the cafe at 603 W. Walnut St. or by calling 423-483-0517.

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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