When you think of a food bank, images of school food drives and canned food probably pop into you head. Although you’re not wrong—donations from local food drives and non-perishable items are essential in serving our hungry neighbors—you don’t have the full picture.
At Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, we go beyond traditional feeding programs and engage partners in the community as well as create innovative programs to help the 1 in 8 Middle Tennesseans facing hunger.
Project Preserve is our social enterprise that produces non-perishable pantry staples, Tray Pack Meals, Disaster Relief Boxes, and more for our Partner Agencies and food banks within Feeding America’s network of food banks.
In 2016, Project Preserve launched the Tomato Project, a program that produces shelf-stable spaghetti sauce from tomatoes that are slightly imperfect but still healthy and delicious. By transforming the tomatoes into a non-perishable sauce, we are able to cut down on food waste while also feeding those in need.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides low-income seniors living in Davidson County with a monthly box of nutritious food. This program is in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and is our newest program as of February 2019.
Several of our CSFP drop off sites are at senior towers, so those with mobility issues have easy access to the nutritious food they need to stay in good health.
We have several programs that serve hungry children, but the Kids Cafe program is unique in that it’s also educational.
In addition to a healthy meal or snack for at-risk children, the Kids Cafe program also includes regular nutrition lessons taught by our Registered Dietitian. These lessons can cover topics like the difference between fruits and vegetables, the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, what foods are a good source of protein, and much more.
Kids Cafe gives students nutrition education that they may not receive in school or at home, and we hope these lessons allow them to stay healthy well past grade school.
FARM TO FAMILIES
Through our Farm to Families program, we partner with farms in Middle and West Tennessee to bring locally grown, nutritious produce to communities in need.
When our partners have a surplus, we take that extra produce in. If they need assistance gleaning crops, our volunteers roll up their sleeves and help out. The produce we receive is then brought to our Partner Agencies, who distribute it to individuals and families struggling with hunger. Less food is wasted and more Middle Tennesseans have access to fresh food.