September time to take action against hunger

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Sep 11, 2019 at 10:34 PM

The national Feeding America food bank network and the local Second Harvest Food Bank are in the midst of their annual Hunger Action Month campaign to help curb chronic hunger across the nation and here in Northeast Tennessee.

Of the 30 September days set aside to raise awareness of the more than 40 million Americans and some 70,000 people here in our area who do not have enough to eat, today, Thursday, Sept. 12, is Hunger Action Day.

And if you think there’s nothing you can do, the local food bank has 30 easy-to-do suggestions:

• Eat just one meal today and see how it affects your body.

• Try living this week on a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp) budget of $4 a day.

• Cook a meal with children, family members and friends and talk about hunger issues, including the impact of hunger on students in your schools and seniors in your community.

• If you have ever struggled with hunger, share your story with others.

• Make a donation to the food bank in honor of your grandparents or sign up to volunteer with Second Harvest’s mobile senior pantry.

• Buy some extra groceries or collect food items to donate to the food bank or a pantry in your neighborhood.

• Schedule a speaker from the food bank to talk to your club, civic group or church.

• Ask your church to collect a special offering for the food bank.

• Make a $30 donation to Second Harvest, or the equivalent of 114 meals from the food bank, in celebration of Hunger Action Month’s “30 days, 30 Ways to End Hunger” campaign.

• Or to make a lasting difference for a hungry child in your area, sponsor one child for the local Food for Kids backpack program for $100 for the entire school year.

To motivate as many people as possible to engage in Hunger Action Month activities, Second Harvest has compiled a calendar of things that can be done every day this month and posted it on its website www.netfoodbank.org and on the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee page on Facebook.

Included on the list are two special events sponsored by a couple of the food banks most generous sponsors.

Now through Sept. 28 at Ingles Markets in Greeneville, Elizabethton, Kingsport, Johnson City, and Jonesborough, non-perishable food items may be placed in Second Harvest collection bins at the front of the stores or monetary donations for the food bank may be made by purchasing a paper icon at the register for $7.50, or the equivalent of 30 meals from the food bank for a child, senior, veteran or other adult at risk of hunger in Northeast Tennessee. Most needed items for the food bins include peanut butter, pasta, canned pasta sauce, canned soup, canned meats, dry beans and cereal.

And on Sept. 28, the Food Lion Gives program will donate $7.50 to Second Harvest for every bag of Gala Apples purchased at a Food Lion store.

The food bank’s largest fundraiser of the year also takes place this month as local farmers pair up with local chefs for a unique end-of-summer dinner known as The Farmer and Chef.

The unique culinary benefit featuring one-of-a-kind dishes made from the best locally grown produce the region has to offer will be held from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at The Blackthorn Club at The Ridges in Jonesborough.

Tickets and several levels of sponsorships can be had at the food bank website or by contacting Second Harvest at development@netfoodbank.org or 423-279-0430.

As for today, Second Harvest requests hunger-relief advocates everywhere get social and go orange for Hunger Action Day.Wear orange, turn your Facebook profile page orange and share a social media post about hunger issues and the important work of the food bank.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, slegg@johnsoncitypress.com or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.