When Second Harvest first began our work four decades ago, hunger was a hidden problem. But with a wealth of experience in groceries and nutrition through Coke & McDaniels, his food brokerage firm, Bill Coke understood.
“At that time, people weren’t really aware of hunger in their midst,” he remembers. “It took a lot of persuasion to get them to understand what was going on.”
When his church began raising money to fight hunger abroad, Bill spoke up about how the issue affects neighbors right here in Middle Tennessee. He began connecting his fellow church members with Second Harvest when we were just getting started in a school basement, and he joined our board soon after.
The immense growth we’ve experienced since then is due in large part to the dedicated partnership of Bill and his wife, Fletch. The couple has invested time, support, and expertise over the years and even chaired the capital campaign to fund our Martin Distribution Center.
To recognize their incredible commitment, several years ago we established the Fletch and Bill Coke Hunger’s Hope Award. This special annual honor is given to volunteers who share the couple’s heart for service and leadership.
“There will always be a need for Second Harvest.”
Reflecting on these past 40 years, Bill says he’s humbled by what we’ve been able to achieve together. He truly understands the need for nutritious food, and seeing the progress we’ve made means a lot to him.
“I’d hope to see that hunger would be taken care of and there would be no need for a food bank, but that’s idealistic,” Bill says, looking toward the future. “ There will always be a need for Second Harvest.”
Because of devoted people like Bill and Fletch, Second Harvest will always be here to share balanced meals and healthy groceries with those who need them most.
Would you like to join Bill and Fletch Coke’s legacy of giving? Learn how to donate to Second Harvest . We offer many options including one time as well as recurring gifts.