Over 13 thousand children in need of food in East Tennessee

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is hosting its “Pack the Bag” food drive to help children at risk of hunger.
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is working to raise money to feed more than 13 thousand children.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 7:36 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is collecting donations and food items to feed 13,571 children.

The nonprofit’s annual “Pack the Bag” drive benefits Second Harvest’s Food for Kids program and runs for 13 days.

Related Coverage: Second Harvest Food Bank to host food distribution event

Each school year, teachers in 286 East Tennessee schools discreetly provide a list of students who may be at risk of hunger to Second Harvest.

Second Harvest then sends those students home with a bag of non-perishable, kid-friendly food every Friday throughout the school year. The food ensures the child is fed while they’re not in school.

“School is almost over. It’s time for us to start buying food that goes into those backpacks when school starts back in August,” said Second Harvest of East Tennessee’s Executive Director Elaine Streno.

Food for Kids began with a rural focus in Scott County in 2002. 21 years later, the program is in 18 East Tennessee counties.

A $10 donation will sponsor a child’s meals for an entire month.

Related Coverage: ‘Aggressive’ goal helps Second Harvest net largest Double Donation Day haul

“Pack the Bag” runs until May 13. So far, Second Harvest has met one-third of its goal.

Anyone interested in donating can do so on the Second Harvest website.