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Is Pride Month Important for Tennessee?

You may think that Pride Month isn’t that important of a month for Tennessee. Stereotypes and misguided preconceptions could have some think that in the South there just aren’t as many people in the LGBTQ+ community so this holiday shouldn’t be an important focus for our state. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Tennessee is home to the 11th largest population percentage of adults that identify themselves as LGBTQ+ in the country. Moreover, the South has the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ people with 36% of our nation’s LGBTQ+ population calling the South home. For those hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans that identify as LGBTQ+, food insecurity is a unique problem. Second Harvest is dedicated to being a part of the solution.  

It is widely recognized that many food distribution centers are operated by faith-based organizations. Given this landscape, some members of the LGBTQ+ community may feel hesitant about seeking assistance from these groups due to concerns about acceptance and inclusivity. These apprehensions, while understandable, can unfortunately deter a significant portion of the food-insecure population from accessing the essential aid they need. At Second Harvest, we prioritize collaborating with organizations that practice openness, warmth, and acceptance of all individuals across Middle and West Tennessee, regardless of their identity. Second Harvest ensures that everyone can receive the help they need without fear of judgment or exclusion. 

Stereotypes depict the LGBTQ+ community as people typically living in urban cities surrounded by like-minded and similar people. While there certainly are many LGBTQ+ people that live in Tennessee’s major cities, the majority actually live in rural areas. 55.4% of Tennessee’s LGBTQ+ population do not live in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, or Knoxville. Fighting hunger in rural areas, while not impossible, poses a significantly different challenge to fighting hunger in urban environments. Limited access to transportation and fewer nearby food distribution centers makes it difficult for food insecure residents to obtain necessary supplies. Additionally, rural communities often have fewer resources and less infrastructure to support large-scale food relief efforts, exacerbating the issue of food insecurity. These realities coupled with previously mentioned issues that food-insecure LGBTQ+ people face result in a dangerous situation. However, innovative community-led initiatives and targeted support from organizations like Second Harvest are making strides in overcoming these barriers, ensuring that essential food assistance reaches everyone in need. 

Chaque dollar que vous donnez aide à fournir au moins 4 repas à des familles dans le besoin grâce à Second Harvest.

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