December 16, 2010

Last Day for Food Donations to Help Vanderbilt Assist Second Harvest to Feed Middle Tennesseans in Need

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is experiencing a 40 percent increase in the need for emergency food assistance in Davidson County over the same period for 2009. Second Harvest and its affiliated agencies with Community Food Partners report a staggering 55 percent increase in requests for first-time food assistance.

Primary among those requiring assistance are victims of the May flood. However, people facing hunger can be those who have lost jobs, suffered unexpected expenses or are impacted by rising costs for fuel and food.

Continuing its mission in the community to assist those in need, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center are partnering with Second Harvest for the Feeding Hope Challenge, a campaign to raise and distribute some 8 million meals.

“Vanderbilt has historically participated in food drives with Second Harvest. Knowing the present circumstances of many in our community, we feel this is an important time for the university to step forward to help those who are in need of such a basic necessity,” said Jerry Fife, vice chancellor for Administration.

According to Second Harvest, currently one in five Tennessee children live in households without consistent access to food. At the same time, there are many senior citizens in Middle Tennessee on fixed incomes who struggle with expenses for food and health care.

“Our institution’s faculty, staff and students are an incredibly socially-minded and philanthropic group. I know they will support this partnership with Second Harvest, once again giving assistance to our community to help those who are in need,” said John Manning Jr., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer.

A final opportunity for donations will be on Friday, Dec. 17, at the annual Turkey Toss event. Collection boxes for non-perishable items will be on site at Light Hall, or faculty and staff may choose to donate their turkey to Second Harvest representatives who will be present at the Turkey Toss event.