Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Second Harvest receives ‘pantry on wheels’

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee has been chosen as one of 10 national food banks to receive a mobile pantry truck and share in a $5 million donation from the Idol Gives Back Foundation.
Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, has announced it is launching a fleet of mobile pantries and expanding upon other hunger relief programs with the Idol Gives Back Foundation funding.
The Idol Gives Back Foundation will also provide funding to the 10 food banks to hire new staff dedicated to identifying new sources of donated food and increasing donations from local and regional food manufacturers.
The 24-foot mobile pantry truck delivered to Second Harvest will supply nutritious food to people at risk of hunger who live in communities where fresh food is limited It will provide access to nutritious food in both urban and rural “food deserts.” It features multiple storage bays and different temperature zones enabling the Food Bank to safely carry food.
According to Rhonda Chafin, executive director of Second Harvest, the new vehicle “helps overcome current limitations of the Food Bank’s existing fleet.”
The Food Bank runs three different food rescue routes per day, plus a Food for Kids Backpack Program and Mobile Food Bank route in addition to the MFP distribution route.
Chafin estimates that, with the new mobile pantry, Second Harvest can increase the number of distributions by 63 percent per year and increase the total number of individuals served by 64 percent in the first year.
Communities in Johnson, Unicoi and Hawkins counties will be the first targeted for expansion utilizing the new vehicle, Chafin said.
Those communities have been identified as some of the most underserved and as having a significant proportion of individuals living at or below the poverty level.
“We are thrilled to have this fleet up and running, thanks to funding support from Idol Gives Back,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America.
“Their $5 million donation is helping us to provide much-needed food to the 37 million people served annually by our network of food banks.”