Tag Archives: Second Harvest Food Bank

TSU Food Distribution Brings Relief to Hundreds of Families in North Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)- A drive-thru food distribution at Tennessee State University on Saturday offered relief to hundreds of residents in the Nashville metro area.

About 200 volunteers, wearing masks, gloves and maintaining the required social distance, showed up to help distribute food to about 500 families. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Second Harvest Food Bank, along with TSU and One Generation Away, hosted the contact-free, mobile food pantry distribution outside the TSU indoor practice facility for anyone experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the aftermath of the March 3 tornado. No registration was required.

Organizers say TSU offered one of the best locations for the food distribution, as more than 500 families were served. Cars lined up from Walter S. Davis Boulevard onto the campus, and up to the Olympic statue. Drivers were directed to the indoor practice facility parking lot and exited on Schrader Lane.

“COVID-19 has caused a lot of challenges to various communities and we want to make sure that when and where TSU can, that we help the community during this pandemic,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU’s chief of staff. “Partnering with various entities in the community is one way to help with some of the challenges that we are facing. They had a need and TSU had a space that was best configured in a manner to best serve the need.”

TSU alum Sherrie McGuire, left, and her daughter, Makenzie McGuire, were among the volunteers who participated in the food distribution on Saturday. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

Chris Whitney, founder of One Generation Away, a Franklin, Tennessee-Based food ministry, said the ministry conducts about 40 food pantries in Tennessee a year at different locations, mainly in church parking lots.

“We are so grateful to TSU for allowing us to be here today,” Whitney said. “We were looking at somewhere off Clarksville Pike to serve the North Nashville community after the tornado but with the pandemic, we needed a larger parking lot and we thought TSU would be an ideal location.”

About 200 volunteers, wearing masks, gloves and maintaining the required social distance, showed up to arrange tables, unpack boxes, fill grocery bags, and load food into the trunks of cars, as each family drove up. Among the volunteers were Sherrie McGuire, a TSU alum, and her daughter, Makenzie McGuire.

“Service is one of the core values that TSU instilled in us, and that’s what we are doing here today,” said Sherrie, a teacher at Donaldson Christian Academy, who earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at TSU in 1995. Donaldson Christian Academy was damaged during the tornado, which destroyed several buildings on TSU’s agricultural farm. 

“It’s been a double whammy for my family,” added Sherrie. “We were hit with the tornado on March 3rd,  with a lot of damage then you add COVID-19 to it. A lot of people are hurting. So, I am glad to be back at my school to help serve.”

Sherrie’s daughter, Mackenzie, a senior at Donaldson Academy, who has been a volunteer with One Generation Away since she was about 6 years old, agreed.

“Suffering through the tornado and then the pandemic is just unimaginable,” said Makenzie, who wants to study nursing to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. “So, it is just good to get out and help in the community.”

Grant Winrow, special assistant to TSU President Glenda Glover, who helped to coordinate the distribution on the TSU campus, said it is a wonderful opportunity for the university to partner with “anyone in the community that’s trying to do something philanthropic” for the citizens of Nashville.

“We are just a family here at TSU,” he said. “So, I think it is an opportunity for us to open up our resources to be able to assist anyway we can.”

Winrow credits former Metro Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr., a TSU alum, with also helping to coordinate the food distribution at TSU.

TSU also runs a food pantry for students facing temporary hardships. When campus is opened, donations to the Tiger Pantry can be dropped off at the Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center located next to the Gentry Center Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. –  5 p.m.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.CHERYL

TSU to Host KNOW Hunger SNAP Challenge May 29

Tyson Foods and Elanco Partner with Urban League of Middle Tennessee, TSU Cooperative Extension and Community Food Advocates to Educate Leaders on the Misconceptions of SNAP Benefits

 

KNOW-Hunger-SiteNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Area lawmakers will gain first-hand knowledge on what it’s like to try to feed a family for a week on limited resources when they take part in the SNAP Challenge Thursday, May 29 on the Tennessee State University campus.

Hosted by the TSU Cooperative Extension program, the KNOW Hunger Challenge will take place at the ‪Farrell Westbrook Complex (the Barn) from 1 until 5 p.m.

The Challenge, presented by Tyson Foods and Elanco, is an interactive event designed to increase awareness and fight food insecurity by offering education and nutritional opportunities through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and firsthand experience with the challenge families face in a budgeted shopping experience. The Urban League of Middle Tennessee is also part of the two-year partnership initiative.

According to Tyson officials, the event is significant because millions of low-income families struggle to provide their families with nutritious meals despite benefits from SNAP, with one in five Tennesseans enrolled in the program.

“Many people can’t fathom feeding a family on $100 per week,” said Jeff Wood, Tyson Foods’ director of Community Relations. “We do this programming to help people understand what SNAP really is, and what it’s not. The experience is very eye opening for most people. Having gone through the challenge myself, I can tell you it’s life changing.”

The SNAP Challenge features teams of legislatures and other elected officials that will be given $100 each to shop for a week’s worth of food for a family of four.  Tennessee State University SNAP-ED educators, as well as hunger advocates from across Tennessee will help teams make their purchases.

The teams are charged with shopping at a local store, then return to the University where their purchases are presented to a panel of judges. The food will be judged on effective use of funds, nutritional value and culinary creativity.

Following the event, the food purchased will be donated to The Nashville Food Project.

“This nation-wide challenge has taken place across the country and serves as a reminder just how difficult it can be to buy food for a family of four when faced with limited resources,” said Rita Fleming, assistant professor of Health Education. “We will have three of our Cooperative Extension SNAP-Ed agents providing assistance on how to make healthy choices on limited funds.”

According to Fleming, the TSU Cooperative Extension program mission is to help educate and provide information to limited resource urban and rural individuals, families, small farmers, and other groups.

“We use a variety of program delivery strategies,” she added, “offering practical and useful research-based programs, resources, and publications in agriculture and natural resources, family & consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community resource and economic development.”

This SNAP Challenge is part of KNOW Hunger Nashville, a two-year initiative by Tyson Foods, Urban League of Middle Tennessee and area food advocates to raise awareness of food insecurity and nutrition education. The organizations will also host local health fairs, thought leadership exercises and educational opportunities. The group hosted a health fair with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Wellness Project last November and plans to launch a website with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee later this summer that’s designed to help families stretch their food resources further.

Elanco and Tyson Foods created the half-day SNAP Challenge in the spring of 2012. Since that time, 18 groups comprised of more than 450 people have participated.

For more information, contact Fleming at 615.963.2135.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.