“It helps so much. You don’t have to worry if your children will be able to eat or not. I am glad they do this program,” said a Bedford County parent while picking up food from a school feeding site earlier this year. The site was one of many made possible by Kroger and the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation.
Partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Kroger and The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation’s Emergency COVID-19 Response Fund granted $175,000 this summer to help with the Food Bank’s disaster response efforts – including funding 15 additional summer feeding site locations across ten counties in Middle and West Tennessee, helping to ensure children continued to have access to fresh and nutritious meals even if schools were closed.
“Thanks to Second Harvest and Kroger we have been able to provide our school families who are in vulnerable situations with food that they can turn into nutritious meals,” said Karen Scoggins, assistant director for Bedford County Schools. “No one should go hungry, and no parent should not be able to provide for their children, so we are very thankful for this support.”
For more than three and a half decades, Kroger has supported Second Harvest by providing food and funds to help local families in need. Support that has been critical in the aftermath of the deadly March 3 tornadoes and amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for over 35 years and fully support their mission of ending food insecurity in our communities,” said Melissa Eads, Corporate Affairs Manager for the Kroger Nashville division. “They have always done great work, but what they have been doing the last nine months to support so many affected by the March tornadoes and COVID-19 has been remarkable. Through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan we are committed to ending hunger in our communities and eliminating waste. To support Second Harvest is something we are proud to do.”
This partnership includes Second Harvest trucks picking up fresh produce and other perishable items from Kroger stores that would have otherwise gone to waste. This food is then sorted at our warehouse and distributed to our Partner Agencies for those in need.
As our communities continue to struggle and the need for food continues to rise, so has Kroger’s support. Feeding America currently projects that 1 in 6 of our neighbors – including 1 in 5 children – are currently facing food insecurity in Middle and West Tennessee. Second Harvest has also seen a 50 percent increase in the need for food assistance since the beginning of March.
“We could not answer the call of need if it wasn’t for dedicated partners like Kroger who have stepped up to help our neighbors in need,” said Second Harvest CEO Nancy Keil. “We have seen a surge in demand during these unprecedented times, and we are thankful for partners like Kroger who have been with us every step of the way. We truly could not do this without them.”
In addition, Kroger employees often volunteer their time and energy towards our mission, and the grocery retailer enables members of the community to drop off non-perishable food donations year-round at Kroger locations by placing them in the Second Harvest Food Bank barrel at the front of the store.