Plans for the Western Branch of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee are under way, with a groundbreaking of the new food distribution and volunteer engagement center slated for this fall, announced Jaynee Day, President & CEO.
The Western Branch will be located on Benton Industrial Road in Camden, TN, and will continue to serve 14 of the 46 counties currently served by Second Harvest. The facility will include a warehouse with the capacity to hold shelf-stable, frozen, and perishable food items for distribution as well as a volunteer engagement center that will allow volunteers to sort and process thousands of pounds of fresh produce, dairy, meat, and nonperishable product.
“This facility will allow us to provide greater food resources to our Partner Agencies to better serve the surrounding community,” said Jaynee Day, President & CEO of Second Harvest. “The new branch will allow us to provide more meals, work more efficiently, and make a bigger difference in our 14 Western counties.”
Second Harvest has been serving the Western service area for more than 11 years. Currently, food distribution in this area is coordinated through our 65 Partner Agencies, who help provide 4.2 million meals to the area annually. The 25,800-square foot facility will generate an increase in meals provided to the more than 48,000 food insecure people in our Western service area. Over the past five years we have experienced a double digit increase in growth and expect this growth to continue.
“I live and work in this area, and such strides have been made to combat hunger in this community,” said Donna Vick, donor relationship manager for our 14 Western counties. “The completion of the Western Branch will allow us to reach so many more food insecure people. The numbers are important, but the faces of the families we help are what I’ll be happy to see.”
The investment for the Western Branch is $3.6 million, with a current fundraising total of $1.1 million. Once ground is broken, the facility is expected to be completed by fall 2018.
“Projects like these are why I’m involved with Second Harvest,” said Jonathan Flack, current board chair and board member since 2010. “We will constantly strive for growth as long as there are food insecure people in the community, and I’m proud to be part of the work that’s happening across Middle and West Tennessee.”
Ray Smith, a Camden resident and supporter of the Western Branch, hosted the announcement event at his Ray Smith Chevrolet Buick dealership in Camden on October 18. More than 100 community members from Benton County and surrounding areas came out to hear the special announcement.