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Volunteering at Second Harvest

Tennessee’s most popular and well-known nickname is "The Volunteer State," earned during the War of 1812. However, this nickname was solidified during the Mexican War when the secretary of state asked for only 2,800 Tennessee volunteers and 30,000 Tennesseans responded.

The nickname makes sense and is clearly proven in the tremendous hours of volunteer spirit Tennesseans have invested at Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. In fact, Second Harvest reports that in 2017, volunteers donated their time to the tune of 25,000 hours which translates into Second Harvest having 14 free full-time employees. This kind of impact saves the food bank thousands of dollars on staffing costs each year. Those dollars can then be spent on food—this equation is true volunteering.

The monetary donations are crucial too and just a little goes a long way. One in seven people in East Tennessee lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic needs. At Second Harvest Food Bank, they are trying to change that statistic in 18 East Tennessee counties.

On Thursday May 31st a DeRoyal group volunteered several hours at Second Harvest in Maryville, TN and we accomplished literally a ton. Our task was to scoop, package and box corn flakes and we quickly put together an efficient assembly line of two teams. We have a little history in manufacturing efficiencies so it was easy to get in a rhythm. When the dust settled we completed 3 pallets of 35 boxes each and came to a grand total of 1,260 bags of cereal. We had a great time and left feeling a sense of accomplishment that day. We are built to serve and watching the boxes stack up was a satisfying experience of both completion and pride in knowing the effort will directly help many families.

Second Harvest Food Bank’s mission is to lead the community in the fight to end hunger. It is the East Tennessee region’s largest hunger-relief charity, operating programs in 18 counties. The food bank secures and distributes more than 18 million pounds of food and grocery products annually through a network of over 550 partnering nonprofit organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and schools.

If you're interested in volunteering click on their website or call them at 865.521.0000.

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