Community Partnerships Expand Capacity During Difficult Times
Librarians Give Back in New Ways
The Carroll County Library in Huntingdon isn’t just a place where children can feed their imaginations with a good book. Since early last year, the library’s been a place where children can access meals afterschool and during summer break. But as the pandemic set in, library staff wanted to do more.
They worked long hours and organized extra volunteers to offer a drive-thru distribution of Emergency Food Boxes from Second Harvest and boxes of fresh food from the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The library even opened its doors to receive community food donations.
Library Director Jennifer Thornton says, “To watch the faces of an entire family as the stress lines fade with every parcel of food handed over, to have children thank you for ensuring their next meal … is something you just have to experience for yourself.”
At a time when our Partner Agencies across the state are stretched thin, this small public library is stepping up to provide big relief to their neighbors in need.
Ole South Makes Service a Priority
Ole South, a home builder based in Murfreesboro, has been fighting hunger with Second Harvest since 2003. When we opened our Nacarato Distribution Center in Smyrna in 2018, Ole South staffers started volunteering there regularly, a practice that has continued throughout the pandemic.
“A lot of employment areas in Middle Tennessee are vulnerable to COVID-19,” says Trey Lewis, Vice President of Sales. “We’ve been blessed at Ole South because everyone needs a place to live, but we need to assist in sustaining our communities as well. Partnering with Second Harvest is the way to do that.”
To date, the Ole South team has helped provide more than 1 million meals to our neighbors in their time of need.
Reaching Underserved Populations
Since the pandemic began, immigrant families in Middle Tennessee have been hit especially hard with health concerns and economic hardship.
Second Harvest partnered with Conexión Américas, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for Latino families in Nashville, to provide fresh produce boxes during weekly drive-thru distributions.
To keep families safe, the staff at Conexión’s headquarters, Casa Azafrán, loaded the food boxes directly into waiting cars. Additionally, staff delivered food boxes to quarantined families or those without transportation. To date, more than 500 underserved families have benefited from this partnership.