Harvest was founded in 1978 by a group of citizens concerned about their hungry
neighbors. After visiting St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix ( the first food bank
in the United States ) to better understand their distribution model, Second
Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee was formed.
In short, Second Harvest exists to make sure that no Middle Tennessean has to go without
food during a time of need. We leverage our community partnerships, logistics
infrastructure, and economies of scale to create a safety network that works
against food insecurity.
In FY 15, Second Harvest increased the total number of pounds it distributed by 5% over the previous year's total, representing a grand total of 29,279,793 pounds of food distributed to the hungry, the equivalent of nearly 24.4 million meals.
1. Second Harvest worked to increase donated pounds by 12% over last year’s total. This was done primarily via ramping up grocery rescue efforts, acquiring more fresh produce from farms, and implementing new food drives. We distributed 7.8 million pounds of produce last year, which includes over 6,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables gleaned from local farms. Additionally, we helped to rescue nearly 10.4 million pounds of food from our grocery partners. This food would otherwise be dumped due to overstocking, cosmetic imperfection, seasonal turnover, or the nearing of a "sell-by" date, but is still perfectly edible.
2. Second Harvest volunteers exceeded performance goals this year, sorting and packing food for the hungry for a total of 85,789 hours. Using the current independent sector rate for Tennessee, volunteers saved Second Harvest approximately $1.77 million in labor costs last year!
3. All 46 counties in Second Harvest’s service area met our ‘Meals per Person in Need’ (MPiN) distribution goal of distributing more pounds than the previous year.
The most pressing needs facing Second Harvest and its ability to serve the hungry in FY15-16 are:
1. Capacity: Our primary warehouse operates at-or-near capacity on a continual basis and our transportation fleet is overextended. We are not able to rescue all the food that is available to us, nor do we have the space to sort and store it. Access is also an issue – as we operate out of a Nashville-based facility, we are not able to serve agencies in rural areas as often, and are not able to rescue, sort, and redistribute as much food as is available to us.
2. Volunteer Space: Volunteers provide a significant service to our organization, and just in the last five years volunteer hours have more than doubled, reaching 85,789 in 2014-2015. However, we are not able to accommodate all of the individuals and groups who would like to sort the additional food that our community needs.
3. Food Sorting and Safety: We lack critical space for sorting fresh produce that comes into our warehouse. The ability to sort produce would keep produce fresh for longer periods, expedite our turn-around time (which will free up space to receive greater amounts of produce), and allow us to offer better products to our partner agencies.
In order to address these issues, Second Harvest is working to optimize space at our Nashville facility and build two additional distribution centers in the western and southern regions of our service area.
After 37 years, the mission of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee remains the same: to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community. We are at a critical stage in our growth. With more than one million Tennesseans at risk of hunger every day, we all must do more to make sure food is available for the children, families, and seniors who need it most. Second Harvest is consistently working beyond our capacity to rescue and deliver food to hungry people, but it’s not enough. In the last ten years, we have more than tripled our food distribution to those who are in need. To meet growing demand and reach the underserved, we project that this number will more than double over the next ten years to 62,375,540 pounds – the equivalent of nearly 52 million meals. With even more food to be rescued and many families continuing to struggle with hunger, due to chronic unemployment and underemployment, we face an urgent problem. Food is being left on the table that could go to feed our hungry neighbors, and we must work quickly to expand our facility for greater warehouse and freezer space, supplement our aging transportation fleet, and expand our reach into the western and southern parts of our service area. Doing so would allow us to rescue, sort, and deliver more food as we increase volunteer involvement.
While these efforts are crucial to the growth of the food bank, my primary focus remains on maintaining the safety and quality of every pound of food we distribute. To do this, we will continue to work with the USDA, Feeding America, and the Health Department to maintain our high standard for food safety as our food output continues to rapidly increase.
As we move forward, Second Harvest requires the continued support of Middle Tennesseans everywhere. Whether that comes via the donation of food, volunteer time spent sorting and inspecting food in our distribution center, or the giving of funds to our programs where every $1 provides 4 meals to those in need, we need your help. To learn more about how you can get involved visit http://secondharvestmidtn.org/.
Thank you for fighting hunger and feeding hope!
Jaynee K. Day
President & CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
As we face rising fuel & food prices amid increasingly uncertain economic times, we must maintain the stability of a food safety net in Nashville. Second Harvest operates its Emergency Food Box program in the following locations: East Nashville Co-Op, Salvation Army Magness Potter Center, Salvation Army Laotian Corps, St. Luke’s Community House, Kayne Avenue Baptist Church, Watkins Park Community Center, Olivet Missionary Baptist Church, Goodlettsville Help Center, Una Church of Christ, St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, Christian Cooperative Ministry, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Martha O’Bryan Center, Temple Baptist Church, Temple Baptist Church, Napier Community Center, and Hamilton United Methodist Church.
The short-term goal of the Emergency Food Box program is to meet a person's/family's immediate need for food.
The long-term goal for the Emergency Food Box program is to provide help and hope to people by providing them with food during emergencies. This provision enables clients to spend their money on other necessities like utility bills and housing. We intend to provide short-term help that enables long-term success.
The success of the Emergency Food Box program is measured by the number of food boxes distributed each month to our Emergency Food Box locations in Davidson County.
This is Second Harvest's flagship program in Davidson County and has been in operation since 1978.
In 2014-2015, Second Harvest implemented 254 Mobile Pantries that served more than 176,000 Middle Tennesseans. Mobile Pantries are one of our most effective ways of distributing large amounts of food in partnership with our Partner Agencies. Our Partner Agencies are always quick to share success stories from Mobile Pantries like the ones below that demonstrate the great need for our services in Middle Tennessee:
“One family of recently discharged military veterans (both husband and wife) had moved to the area after returning home from a tour in the Middle East. They had no food, but they were out looking for work. They sent their teenage son and daughter to pick the food up for them so they could have food to last until the money started coming in again. We connected them to the local VFW chapter for additional help in making the transition to civilian life. "You guys are life savers," the husband said to us on the phone.”
"I lost my job and have 3 girls. This food will help a lot while I am looking for another job. Thank you so much for doing this. I really didn't know how I would feed my girls".
In December 2014, Second Harvest surveyed 82 teachers with students participating in the BackPack Program in an effort to measure the positive effects the program had in improving participating student’s behavior and health. The results were overwhelming. Teachers reported that 82% of the participating students exhibited improved classroom behavior indicated by reduced aggression and fewer disruptive incidents in the classroom and 88% of participating students exhibited improved academic performance. The teachers provided additional feedback that further explained the benefit of the BackPack program to students struggling with hunger:
"One student in particular has show tremendous growth this school year as she has gained knowledge of people outside of the school being interested in her life personally. We have had many conversations about this and she has responded by letting me know how hard she will work to show them that she is grateful."
Project Preserve has been a program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee since 1992. The program leverages economies of scale, manufacturing, and logistics expertise to provide a comprehensive co-op and manufacturing program to our partner agencies, food banks and other nonprofit organizations. Our team coordinates purchasing of core grocery and household items—saving food banks both time andmoney—therefore enabling us all to feed more hungry people each day. In 2014-2015, Project Preserve distributed nearly 42 million pounds of food to 125 food banks in 42 states.
The Culinary Arts Center is a state-of-the-art food preparation facility and commercial-grade kitchen. The purpose of the Center is to educate the public on issues related to nutrition and food preparation, to engage the public with our mission, and to generate revenue for our feeding programs. The Culinary Arts Center also offers catering with outstanding menus and service. Each Friday, the public is invited to join us for lunch at First Harvest Cafe from 11am – 1pm in our Culinary Arts Center. For $12, guests enjoy a meal that varies by week between Cajun, Asian, Italian, French, Mexican, and American cuisines. On Wednesday from 11am-1pm we offer a lighter lunch usually consisting of a soup, salad, and sandwich for $8. All proceeds are used to serve the hungry in Middle Tennessee.
A board of thirty community and business leaders governs Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. They are responsible for setting policy and procedures and overseeing the financial stability of the organization. As President and CEO of the Food Bank, I report directly to the Board of Directors. I also provide leadership to our Leadership Team which consists of our CFO, SVP of External Affairs, VP of Project Preserve, VP of Agency Relations, and Director of Human Resources. Second Harvest uses a number of committees to help provide strategic guidance to the organization. Various advisory committees comprised of board and community members assist and help guide all departments within the organization. The food bank is very fortunate to have an active and dedicated group of volunteers that serve on these committees and provide outstanding leadership and guidance.
This year our leadership is focused on increasing our capacity to distribute more food to more hungry people in our service. Support from community volunteers, leaders, and donors remains absolutely critical as we continue to fight hunger in Middle Tennessee.
Ralph Forsythe joined Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in January 2013 as CFO. Mr. Forsythe has more than 25 years of experience in senior finance and accounting roles. Mr. Forsythe most recently was CFO of Alfa Insurance Group in Montgomery, AL where he served for the past 12 years in various accounting and finance senior leadership roles. Mr. Forsythe is a Murfreesboro, Tennessee native and spent most of his career in the Nashville area. He received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He is a licensed CPA in Alabama and Tennessee and is a member of the AICPA.
Mark Summers is the Vice President of Operations at Second Harvest Food Bank. Mark works with the Inventory Control, Transportation, and Facilities Maintenance teams to ensure our food is handled safely, accurately, and efficiently. Raised in West Tennessee, Summers holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance from MTSU and an MPA from the University of LaVerne in Southern California. Summers, a Lieutenant Colonel, retired from the military after 25 years where he specialized in aviation maintenance and logistics. He is a rated helicopter pilot. In his civilian career, he has worked in manufacturing, warehouse distribution, and logistics for the medical, pharmaceutical, and healthcare manufacturing/distribution industries.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
For 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality. We all know and are in contact with people affected by hunger or food insecurity, even though we might not be aware of it.
The face of hunger in Tennessee looks like your neighbor, your child’s best friend, the woman who gives you your coffee in the morning, and the man selling newspapers by your office every day. It could be the coworker you sat next to who was laid off last month or the new mother at the doctor’s office you saw last week. Hunger impacts one in six Tennesseans, and with those numbers, it is likely you’ve seen someone today who will be going hungry tonight.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215