Second Harvest prepared for potential government shutdown

The food bank could see more people if Congress doesn’t come to a deal this week.
WVLT News at 5 pm
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:20 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Second Harvest Food Bank officials are worried about the people they serve if there is a government shutdown. Officials with the food bank said most of the people they serve rely on SNAP or other federal food aid.

“When we’re looking at this potential government shutdown, we’re seeing it from the eyes of our clients and neighbors that receive our sources,” Madison Bowers with Second Harvest said.

Bowers said they won’t be impacted as much because they take very little from the federal government. Most of the money they get comes from donations and sponsorships.

Bowers also said they prepare months in advance in case an emergency happens. Bowers said it’s possible more people could need the food bank’s help during a shutdown, but they’ve been helping more people in need each year since the pandemic.

“What we’re doing is making sure we’ve got enough stockpile of food to make sure that if there is that influx of need, we’re prepared for it, and our community partners are prepared for it as well,” Bowers said.

Keeping the Maryville warehouse stocked has its issues since they feed people in 18 counties. Bowers said this is why donations from the community are so crucial.

“Funding is the best way to support us because we’re pretty much funded on donations and corporate sponsorships. A small portion of our budget comes in from the government so we’ll be okay, but we want to make sure we pass that generosity onto our neighbors who do rely on those sources,” Bowers said.

She also said for every dollar donated, the food bank can provide three meals to someone in need.

Anyone interested in donating can visit the Second Harvest website.