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Feeding Hope with John Rich

Now a long-time supporter of Second Harvest, the country music star shares how his childhood was affected by hunger.

You don’t have to explain the importance of a food bank to John Rich.

He knows.

Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, his father worked three to four jobs to provide for Rich and his three siblings. As is the case with many hardworking families, sometimes, it wasn’t enough.

“We didn’t have to go to the food bank a lot,” Rich said. “But there were times when the food bank really kicked into gear and filled in the gaps, not only for me, but for a lot of the kids I grew up with.”

Rich spent his childhood in a self-described “lean neighborhood,” where some families really struggled. His father, a preacher, made a point to help those with less. Rich remembers packing boxes with pasta, cheese, and other pantry staples and passing them out to neighbors in need after church on Sunday.

Whether he was getting help or giving it, Rich saw firsthand how a food bank is an indispensable asset to a community.


As an adult, Rich traveled to Nashville and became a country music star playing with the band Lonestar and the duo Big & Rich.

John and Joan Rich

In December 2008, Rich was planning his end-of-year giving and found Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

“I remember sitting there late at night on my computer,” Rich said. “I looked at how many cents on the dollar that are donated go to food. It was in the 90s, above 95 percent, and I thought, ‘For every dollar I give, basically that entire dollar is going to go help people.’”

Rich has supported Second Harvest ever since that night he learned 96 cents of every donated dollar goes to our feeding programs. He generously donates both his time and resources to our mission of feeding hungry people in Middle Tennessee.

“We’ve got more than we need, so we’re supposed to find and search out the people that don’t have enough,” Rich said. “To me the food bank is just one of the best places a person can put their charitable dollars, and that’s why my family and I have supported the food bank here for many years.”


John RichRich joined us in the fight against hunger once again and recently hosted a benefit concert in his home — the aptly named Mt. Richmore.

The evening featured performances from Tracy Lawrence, Ricky Skaggs, and Rich himself. In just one night, we raised $154,000, which is equal to over 600,000 meals!

Every dollar from this one-time event will go toward our feeding programs across Middle Tennessee. These services are critical in providing food to the nearly 380,000 families, children, and seniors facing hunger in our area.

But you don’t have to explain that to Rich.

He knows.


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