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Heat or Eat?

Winter is finally making its way to Middle and West Tennessee. With forecasted temperatures nearing zero degrees in the upcoming days, many families in our community face a heart-wrenching decision: to heat their homes or put food on the table. This stark reality is coming for Middle and West Tennessee, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is ready to help. 

a home with damage from burst frozen pipes

During colder months, utility bills skyrocket, and during prolonged subfreezing temperatures, like those forecasted, heating your home can be astronomical. This forces families to choose between two necessities: staying warm or staying fed. This situation is not just uncomfortable – it’s a matter of health and well-being. 

Families who opt to pay for heating might face extended periods of time without sufficient nutrition. The World Health Organization states that malnourished individuals, particularly children, face a higher risk of hypothermia and other cold weather-related health issues. Conversely, those prioritizing food might endure cold, unsafe living conditions. While families may be able to brave the cold weather, their homes may be as lucky. Cold weather brings the risk of burst pipes, and other damage to an unheated home. These repairs can cost thousands of dollars and leave a family in unsuitable living conditions. Both scenarios can lead to serious problems and exacerbate existing ones. 

At Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, we strive to make sure no one must decide between heating their house or feeding their family. We stand ready to supply food to those in need and believe no one should have to sacrifice a warm home for a warm meal. 

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