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How Project Preserve Helps Second Harvest Fight Hunger

This March is a special Nutrition Month for Second Harvest, since we are also celebrating our 46th Anniversary. We’re proud to reflect on how we’ve contributed to a healthier Middle and West Tennessee over the past four decades. While pantry staples and canned goods are vital, we understand the importance of offering healthier options for a balanced diet.

Second Harvest has made significant strides in ensuring everyone in our 46-county service area has access to nutritious food. Our initiative, Project Preserve, plays a crucial role in this effort. Unlike popular belief, food banks like Second Harvest often need to purchase food to meet the needs of the 353,000 people facing hunger in our region. Project Preserve addresses this by providing carefully crafted feeding program boxes tailored to specific dietary needs.

Through collaboration with other food banks, Project Preserve realized there were not sufficient foods available to those with diabetes available at food banks. This meant people with diabetes would either waste food they were receiving or would be exacerbating their illnesses. Neither of those realities were acceptable. So, Project Preserve created custom food boxes that were filled with whole grains, brown rice, low sodium canned goods, and other foods that fit perfectly into a diabetic diet.

Diabetic boxes were just the start. Once those specialty food boxes proved to be successful, Project Preserve continued to innovate. Next came heart healthy boxes that offered foods for those with hypertension, and then fully assembled BackPacks were offered to students facing hunger so they could have healthy meals over the weekend. Now, Project Preserve is innovating again with our newly introduced Culturally Relevant Food Boxes that offer foods specific to certain cultures – such as masa for Hispanic communities.

We understand the challenges of eating healthily amidst food insecurity. That’s why Project Preserve is dedicated to ensuring access to healthy food for everyone in our region. As we celebrate our 46th Anniversary and Nutrition Month, we invite your support in making Middle and West Tennessee healthier for all.

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