‘Everybody can get involved:’ The fight to end hunger takes a community, here’s how you can help

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — In the aftermath of pandemic job loss and as many businesses have closed their doors, food banks have stepped up to meet the growing need of those who are hungry.

Since March of 2020, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee has given out more than 14 million pounds of food in our region.

September marks Hunger Action Month at Second Harvest, where your help is needed to help those in need.

“It shouldn’t be an impossible choice for a family. They shouldn’t have to make a choice between food and rent. A senior shouldn’t have to choose between food and medicine,” said executive director of Second Harvest, Rhonda Chafin.

From donations of food, to sponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner box, or even purchasing something in the organization’s online auction, monetary donations go far.

“Everybody can get involved. That is the key during Hunger Action Month is to educate people,” said Chafin.

But it is not just donating money that makes a difference – it is donating your time.

“This is a wonderful place. You are really helping people, you can see that you are helping people,” said Joyce Lindfors.

Lindfors has volunteered at Second Harvest for 11 years, primarily working the front desk and helping with whatever is needed.

“It makes you feel better, it makes you feel like you’ve got a purpose in life,” said Lindfors.

“Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of this organization. We could not do what we do at Second Harvest Food Bank without our volunteers,” said Chafin.

Those who give their time make it possible for Second Harvest to help those who are struggling.

“My husband and I, we were working 6 jobs between the two of us and it just was not enough to pay the bills and also feed our children,” said Jessica Beare Edmunds.

Beare Edmunds once relied on Second Harvest to feed her family for a few years. Now, she and her husband give back to the organization to pay it forward.

“It’s your friends, it’s your neighbors, it’s people you go to church with. It’s really anybody. I think people would be surprised when they see it,” Beare Edmunds

The fight to end hunger can start with just one person. It grows into a network of people and with everyone doing their part, it is a fight that can be won.

For more information about how to donate or volunteer at Second Harvest, visit their website.

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