KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)—In the midst of Hunger Action Month, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is encouraging people to get involved in the fight against hunger by volunteering.

In the eight counties served by the food bank, about one in seven people struggle with food insecurity, with rates among children even higher.

“This is why we need to spread that awareness to get people involved, to fight that hunger so everybody in the community can be their best no matter who it is, whether it’s from the young children in the community to our beloved elderly in the community,” Second Harvest Community Relations Manager Edward Breese told News Channel 11.

Second Harvest food to 45,000 people through more than 130 local partners, but Breese said they can’t get food from their Kingsport warehouse to people in need without help.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization,” said Breese.

Kingsport resident Susan Lodal works on the ground as one of those volunteers. Lodal helped to compile a list of emergency food pantries and other ways to get food in the city, available on

“I would say most of those are run by volunteers, are provided by volunteers,” Lodal told News Channel 11. “We would not have the variety and magnitude of assistance for those who are in need of food if we did not have volunteers.”

Lodal also serves as a volunteer herself, working at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church’s food pantry. It’s work that Lodal says is worth it.

“It’s a way to help people,” Lodal said. “There are many needs that people have. Food is an easy one to address because it’s just providing that food and helping them have enough to eat so maybe they can focus on doing some other things to improve their lives. “