Food for Kids

Feeding our future

Food for Kids is a collaboration between Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and hundreds of public schools within the Food Bank’s 18-county service area.

Take-home food offered weekly

The program provides nutritious, easily-prepared food to children likely to miss meals on a regular basis. 

Identifying food-insecure students

Teachers at each school compile a list of students in their classroom who may be at risk of hunger to receive food from the program.

Well-rounded, accessible meals

Each bag of food contains fruit, dairy, veggies, grains, and a protein. These foods are all kid-friendly, requiring no additional utensils so that children are able to easily access them, no matter their home situation.

Consistent distribution

These children are discreetly given food — for themselves and any siblings they may have at home — every Friday throughout the school year.

How this program helps

We often receive reports of improved self-esteem, behavior, and concentration among Food for Kids participants.

Food for Kids by the numbers

18—the current number of counties in which the program operates

298—the current number of participating schools

14,395—the current number of children benefitting from the program

50+—number of schools that are not yet on board within our 18-county service area

1,200,000+—the number of meals provided by Food for Kids this year

$100—average cost per child to provide healthy food each week for a full school year

25+—the number of full truckloads of deeply discounted food distributed each year

$0—the cost to the schools/children receiving Food for Kids food

Food for Kids year-round

Summer Food for Kids provides children with the same weekly backpack they receive during the school year, but is distributed through a network of summer program partners rather than through their school. With most schools not in session, we lean on a variety of agency types — including housing authorities, summer schools, church-based summer programs, and Boys and Girls clubs — to continue the program through the summer. Like Food for Kids, the Summer Food for Kids program seeks to fill the “weekend gap” left by a number of other program models that only serve children when on-site.

Get in touch

For more information, please contact Sam, our Youth and Senior Programs Manager.


Reach out today to learn more about what we do, get involved, or for additional information about our resources.