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Tornado Response: One Year Later

In the early morning hours of March 3, 2020, deadly and devasting tornadoes tore through Nashville and the surrounding area. The impact would be felt for months to come. 

As a first responder in the aftermath of the tornadoes, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee served our community by organizing large scale distributions in the hardest hit areas.

Parts of Putnam County were heavily damaged by the tornadoes. Here, clients and volunteers prayed together before the start of a Second Harvest Mobile Pantry at the Monterey Mission Center on March 7, 2020.

American Airlines volunteers packed disaster relief boxes on March 9, 2020 at Second Harvest’s Martin Distribution Center in Nashville.
Even though tornadoes tore the roof of their 135-year-old church, the congregation at Mt. Bethel Baptist Church was determined to help provide disaster relief to their neighbors in Nashville’s Buena Vista neighborhood during a Second Harvest Mobile Pantry on March 7, 2020.


Coordinating with the American Red Cross of Tennessee, Second Harvest also provided 1,600 hot meals a day to be distributed through Disaster Mobile Response Units. In addition, the Food Bank provided food and water in neighborhoods and shelters serving thousands of residents who lost power and sustained damage to their homes.

Second Harvest prepared meals were loaded up daily to be distributed to impacted communities by the American Red Cross on March 6, 2020.

Volunteers from But God Ministries – a Second Harvest Partner Agency – delivered Second Harvest food boxes to residents of Cheatham Place who were impacted by the tornadoes.


Second Harvest also partnered with our Partner Agencies, other nonprofits, local and state government, and businesses to ensure all of those impacted by the tornadoes had access to the food and resources they needed.

Second Harvest partnered with Conexión Américans, a nonprofit created to build bridges between the Latino and the native-born residents of Middle Tennessee, to provide fresh produce boxes during weekly drive-thru distributions.

Les Dames d’Escoffier and local restaurants provided prepared meals and Second Harvest food boxes to residents impacted by the tornado in North Nashville in March 6, 2020.
Second Harvest Disaster Relief Boxes were distributed during an emergency food distribution at the McGruder Family Resource Center in North Nashville on March 13, 2020.
Working with Metro Nashville Public Schools in Davidson County, Second Harvest provided non-perishable food and fresh produce to students and families in need of food assistance – including distributing more than 2,000 emergency food boxes to 10 MNPS schools for families without access to nutritious meals as a result of school closures.

Second Harvest provided food and water to the thousands of residents who lost power and sustained damage at the following MDHA locations: Edgefield Manor, Cumberland View Apartments, Cheatham Place Apartments, Preston Taylor Homes, Andrew Jackson Courts, and Sam Levy Homes. 
Coordinating with Wilson County and Lebanon Special School District (LSSD), Second Harvest provided 430 Disaster Relief Food Boxes and BackPacks to be distributed to students and families impacted by the tornadoes. 


Second Harvest was able to quickly and effectively respond in the days, weeks, and months after the March 3 tornadoes is thanks to the unflagging kindness and generosity of our community of donors and volunteers.

Volunteers assembling disaster relief boxes at Second Harvest’s Martin Distribution Center in Nashville.

Second Harvest volunteers distributing fresh produce and other food items to residents impacted by the tornadoes in North Nashville.
Volunteers assembling disaster relief boxes at Second Harvest’s Nacarato Family Distribution Center in Smyrna.


Learn more about Second Harvest’s disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of the March 3 tornadoes and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ways you can help ensure our Middle and West Tennessee neighbors in need have access to food and resources during these difficult times.

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