The Chattanooga Area Food Bank serves 11 counties in Tennessee. Within this area alone, approximately 86,450 people are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from – or if they’ll even have a meal. Nearly 26,400 of these are children.
Unfortunately, food shortages often grow worse over the summer.
Gina Crumbliss, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank says, “Most families welcome the relaxing summer months, but hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation. For children who rely on free and reduced-priced meals during the school year, long summer days can easily turn into long hungry nights.”
Like other food banks across the state, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank relies on donations to supply many of the meals it provides to area residents. These donations typically decrease over the summer, making it more difficult for the organizations to offer assistance to everyone who needs it.
For the second year, BlueCross employees have joined forces to help their local food banks combat these seasonal shortages through the company’s Neighbor to Neighbor Food Drive. From June 3 through 14, employees brought in non-perishable items like canned fruit/vegetables, pasta, rice, peanut butter and canned soups and donated money to provide meals for Tennesseans facing hunger this summer.
Generosity in action
In Chattanooga, employees donated 5,825 pounds of food and $560, the equivalent of 7,094 meals. Employees in Knoxville, Johnson City, Nashville and Memphis added 904 meals to that total.
“Thank you to the employees who generously donated to the BlueCross Neighbor to Neighbor Food Drive,” Gina says. “By opening your hearts to our neighbors, you are helping to make this summer hunger-free for the children, families, seniors and others we serve. Together, we can solve hunger.”
Scott Wilson, BlueCross director of community relations, adds, “Food banks are an important lifeline for many Tennesseans, and I am overwhelmed by the amazing response and generosity of our BlueCross employees. They have helped stock food bank shelves across the state, and many of our neighbors will have meals this summer thanks to their efforts.”