Rhonda Chafin, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, speaks to the media Thursday about the annual Drive for Food Hunger Convoy. Below, motorists line up for the convoy. Photos by Nick Shepherd
A large convoy could be spotted all over Sullivan County Thursday. The purpose? To raise awareness about the issue of hunger in our area and what can be done to solve it.
Held by Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, the 14th annual Drive for Food Hunger Convoy also took place on Feeding America’s Hunger Action Day.
“Today is Hunger Action Day, but September is also Hunger Action Month,” said Rhonda Chafin, executive director of Second Harvest. “It’s really significant to Second Harvest, to the community pantries and soup kitchens we serve, but most importantly to those who suffer from hunger or food insecurity.”
Second Harvest does the convoy every year to show the size and scope of their work. It also serves to bring recognition to food bank agencies and the donors who work through the year to end hunger.
Many area donors and food banks joined the 11 Second Harvest vehicles. Donors such as Food City, Food Lion, Kroger and Walmart were spotted in the convoy, along with food banks such as Of One Accord and Haven of Rest. A number of individuals were in the convoy as well.
Many of the participants could be seen wearing orange shirts. Orange is the signature color of the campaign this month, and Second Harvest is asking people to wear orange during the month to help promote hunger awareness and asking people to turn their Facebook profiles orange for hunger relief.
“We’re really trying to promote hunger action,” Chafin said. “We want to drive action to take action. We want people to volunteer, or to donate their time or to make a monetary donation to help our work to fight hunger.”
And Second Harvest is working hard to eradicate hunger in the area. During the fiscal year 2015, Second Harvest distributed over 10.3 million pounds of food and grocery products to approximately 200 agencies that feed the hungry. An average of 43,000 people are served each month.
Second Harvest is also running a social media campaign called, “Spoontember.” The rules are simple. Hang a spoon on your nose, take a selfie and upload it to social media with the hashtag, #Spoontember. Then challenge your friends to take a spoon selfie and post to Facebook or other social media.