Pulling Together

Knox County and truly all of East Tennessee have been very supportive of Second Harvest Food Bank this year. ["Help for Knoxville Non-Profits," Citybeat by Chris Barrett] We at Second Harvest are both grateful and humbled by the amazing gifts we have received over the past months. This community understands and has responded to the heightened need in our area. In December of 2008, we received an increase in donations of 32 percent over December of 2007.

Indeed, throughout the fall, giving was up this year. The community has been very responsive to the rising number of people at risk of hunger in East Tennessee. Because of this support, Second Harvest has been able to expand its six hunger-relief programs to meet the rising need.

We are now in uncharted territory. As a result of the national economic downturn, our community is facing layoffs, job insecurity, and ever-increasing costs for food and other essential goods and services.

In order to try to feed everyone in Knox County seeking help, for the past several months Second Harvest has spent nearly $88,000 purchasing food to supply local soup kitchens, church pantries, group homes, child hunger-relief programs and non-profit agencies with everything they need to combat hunger.

I am sharing this news to let all of you (at all contribution levels) know how amazing your giving was to us and to let you know how important your donations were and will continue to be.

On behalf of the 85,000 clients we serve each month in Knox County, we extend our gratitude to everyone in our community who participated in food drives and/or helped us through monetary gifts. We would also like to ask those who haven't yet given to Second Harvest to please consider doing so. The need is growing and our mission of feeding hungry men, women, and children could be significantly impacted if we do not all pull together to meet the challenges that lay ahead.

Please visit our website at secondharvestknox.org to find out more about our programs and what we are doing in each of the 18 counties we serve.

Elaine Streno, Executive Director, Second Harvest, Knoxville