There are always Middle Tennessee children who dread weekends and long school breaks because there isn’t enough food at home. With the COVID-19 threat, more people are realizing just how many local kids rely on schools’ free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches.
One of Second Harvest’s core duties is working with schools to provide food for these kids outside of school hours without stigmatizing them.
Here’s how Second Harvest feeds these kids and families now, and how you can help as we expand and adjust these efforts for the current situation.
WHAT WE DO – ALWAYS
Second Harvest’s BackPack program provides easy-to-prepare food for at-risk children on weekends and during school breaks. In a typical week, we provide BackPacks for more than 5,800 hungry children at 68 sites throughout Middle Tennessee.
Through schools we also operate the At-Risk Afterschool Meal Program and Kids Café, two afterschool meal programs for children who don’t have dinner waiting at home.
HOW WE’RE ADAPTING
At Second Harvest, we have our own supply chain and our own semis. We can even manufacture some food on-site. We’re working with school districts and local, state, and federal officials to find ways to make it easier for schools to distribute meals to students and their families in a safe manner. Many schools have become sites for drive-thru, no contact food distributions where volunteers load boxes of food directly into clients’ trunks or backseats.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The need for food in our community was already high. The economic impact of COVID-19 continues to grow. Logistically, we can respond to the need. We just need help financially – not just for food, but also to pay our hardworking drivers and warehouse staff, and to fill our trucks with gas.
Please help us get food to children and families during these uncertain times. Right now – as many schools around Tennessee operate virtually – these kids need you more than ever.