Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee’s Mission and History
Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee opened its doors in 1978 with commitment from several community leaders. The purpose of the organization was to provide a central distribution center for companies, groups and individuals who wished to help provide food for hungry people in Middle Tennessee. Second Harvest's mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community.
Modeled after the first food bank established in Phoenix in the mid-1970s, Second Harvest was designed to collect food that would otherwise be wasted, inspect and sort this food, and distribute it to soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters serving the hungry. During the first year, this process resulted in a total distribution of 160,000 pounds of food to 75 member agencies.
Today, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is one of the largest and most comprehensive of over 200 food banks and food distribution centers nationwide. During the 2011/2012 fiscal year, Second Harvest distributed 19,400,293 pounds of food to over 400 Partner Agencies providing more than 16 million meals of food to hungry children, families and seniors throughout our 46-county service area.
Second Harvest’s vision of ending hunger is more important than ever. Hunger is a big problem, and we need everyone’s help to solve this issue. According to the USDA, an estimated 49 million Americans are at risk of hunger, and almost 14 million U.S. children under 18 are food insecure. One in four children in the state of Tennessee are food insecure, and in Middle Tennessee alone, 31 percent of the people Second Harvest serves are children.