Second Harvest fuels summer feeding programs

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) — Summer feeding programs have begun in the metro area and the agency providing the meals is the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

According to Wendy Rake, Second Harvest manager of media and communications, the food bank serves 46 counties and 460 partner agencies across the volunteer state. Partner agencies include pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, group homes and youth enrichment programs.

These youth enrichment programs include summer programs where numerous children receive free meals over the next two months through the Summer Food Service program.

According to Rake, Second Harvest has been working with Nashville-area agencies to provide food for various summer programs for more than 20 years.

“Second Harvest helps ease locations and paperwork for a number of partner agencies,” she told News 2. “Our role is just to really support those locations so they can focus on getting the food distributed.”

The number of meals Second Harvest provides for local summer feeding programs varies by location, but on average the panel helps prepare hundreds of meals per week for their partner locations.

“Most sites feed more than 30 children a day,” she said.

Whether the agencies stop by a warehouse and pick up their meals or have them delivered by Second Harvest staff and volunteers is largely up to the agencies themselves. Some prefer to pick up. Others prefer the delivery option.

Regardless of how they receive their food, every agency that receives a plate for lunch will have their food packaged by Second Harvest at its fully operational food manufacturing facility in Nashville. Summer meals are packaged and prepared to specific dietary guidelines, including protein, whole grains, fruit and more.

Even better, Rake said, the meals are all either thaw and serve or preserved, making it easier for partner agencies to serve them to the kids in their programs or facilities.

This year, Rake said, the number of summer food outlets is lower than previous years, but that doesn’t mean the number of people who need food aid this summer.

“Especially this year, many of our neighbors are still struggling with the financial consequences of the pandemic,” she said. “We are seeing historic inflation and rising food and fuel prices. This is just a program designed to help individuals and families access the food they need.”

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While meals are dedicated to children this summer, adults facing food insecurity can also receive support through Second Harvest, Rake said. Adults can visit, click Find Food, and search by zip code, county, or even day of the week to find a grocery store near them. Second Harvest fuels summer feeding programs

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