KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)—Local leaders volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee to mark Hunger Action Day on Friday.

The day is part of a national, month-long awareness-raising campaign, led by Feeding America.

“We just need to get the word out to make sure that everyone knows that we have neighbors in need in our northeast Tennessee community,” Second Harvest Food Bank of NETN Executive Director Rhonda Chafin said. “There are people who need food assistance on a regular basis.”

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee feeds more than 45,000 people across Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties through its own programs and through partnerships with local food pantries like Good Samaritan Ministries.

“To have a food bank in your region that is there for you, so that you can be on the front line to meet the needs of our neighbors is very important,” Good Samaritan Executive Director Aaron Murphy told News Channel 11.

Murphy said the ability to provide free food to families with supplies from Second Harvest makes space for other life essentials.

“Having partnerships with Second Harvest helps us provide for those grandparents so that they don’t have to take from their light bill or their water bill or their mortgage payment to provide food,” said Murphy.

Good Samaritan is just one organization that benefits from Second Harvest’s supplies.

State Representative Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) says she saw the impact of Second Harvest’s work just this week while volunteering at her local food pantry.

“It’s just amazing what you all do for our food pantries and allow us to be able to serve our small community,” Alexander said. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Friday was just one day of Hunger Action Month, which runs through the end of September.