About Us

What is Second Harvest Food Bank?
Second Harvest Food Bank is East Tennessee’s largest hunger-relief charity; operating programs in 18 counties. The food bank secures and distributes over 18 million pounds of food and grocery products annually through a network of over 500 partnering non-profit organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and schools.

Why is it needed?
1 in 5 people in East Tennessee lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic needs. Among children in our community, 1 in 4 is at-risk of going hungry today. The need among senior citizens continues to rise. In our East Tennessee community, an astounding 170,000+ people are at-risk of hunger.

How do you get food to the people who need it?
At Second Harvest, we work hard to build partnerships with any group that is committed to hunger-relief. Often, this is with other non-profit organizations that operate a local community feeding program or with locations like schools that agree to distribute food for consumption off-site.  When these organizations are not available, Second Harvest delivers food directly to clients. Our programs are arranged to reach every demographic in every corner of East Tennessee.  For a list of programs click here.

Who are partnering agencies that receive food from Second Harvest?
Partnering Agencies are non-profit organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry and include church pantries, shelters, group homes, soup kitchens, community centers, schools, rehabilitation clinics and many others. Second Harvest acts as a distribution and food-resource center for these organizations, saving them time and money and allowing them to concentrate on their core mission. Organizations like FISH, the Salvation Army, Open Arms, Western Heights, New Life, Community Food Connection, Appalachian Outreach, VMC and hundreds of other non-profits like shelters, pantries, senior center and schools, depend on Second Harvest in order to feed the hungry. On average, more than 75% of all food distributed by a church or a community pantry in East TN, comes from us.

Where does the food come from?
About 35% of our product is purchased at the request of non-profit organizations we serve. Items are purchased at bulk rate and at brokered discounts. The majority of food comes from donations of fresh, canned, prepared and packaged items by local grocers, restaurants, manufacturers, distributors and through food drives. This food is often time-sensitive, damaged or seasonal. All donated product must be inspected and often reworked or repackaged, often by volunteers. The majority of donated items are delivered directly to other non-profits, for free, through various programs. Shelf-stable product that requires re-work and storage is available for non-profit partners at a rate of 1 to 19 cents per pound. That is a typical savings of $1.47 per pound verses retail.

How efficient is Second Harvest?
Second Harvest is audited annually and spends 0.8% of our budget on administrative expenses, 3.4% on fundraising and 95.7% on operating our hunger-relief programs. We can provide 3 meals with every $1 donation. Charity Navigator confirms that 95.7% of funds are spent on programs. For additional third-party evaluation check out GuideStar. Check back soon to view the latest Annual Report.

Additional Information
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is part of a national network of food banks called Feeding America. Feeding America members cover every county in America. Second Harvest of East Tennessee serves 18 counties in East Tennessee, delivering food as far west as Crossville and as far East as Newport. A member of Feeding America and partner of United Way Related Sites:

Other information about Second Harvest:

Privacy Policy

The information Second Harvest gathers through our website, social sites, emails and mailings is used solely to respond to inquiries, acknowledge contributions and inform constituents about food bank activities. Transactions on this site are secured via Blackbaud Payment and Merchant Services. Second Harvest Food Bank will never sell, rent or exchange donor information with other charitable or commercial entities, except as is required to accomplish food bank functions. Once you provide Second Harvest with contact information, you are no longer anonymous, and the food bank may contact you using the information you have provided. You may opt out of specific communications at any time by emailing info@secondharvestetn.org

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