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Second Harvest receives $10K grant to support children at risk of hunger

Staff Report • Dec 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee has received a grant that will impact more than 4,600 children at risk of hunger in this region.

The grant, which totaled $10,000, came from the Red Nose Day Fund. The funds will support the food bank’s Food for Kids BackPack program.

“Research shows that children who experience hunger face significant stress and challenges that can have a lasting effect on their physical, cognitive and behavioral development,” said Rhonda Chafin, executive director of Second Harvest, in a press release. “We are very grateful for the support we receive through Red Nose Day, which helps us provide food and support throughout our eight-county region.”

What is Red Nose Day?

Through the power of entertainment, Red Nose Day raises awareness and money to end childhood poverty, supporting programs that help to keep kids safe, healthy and educated.

The grant awarded to Second Harvest is one of 200 provided this year by the Red Nose Day Fund to Feeding America member food banks.

How will the grant money be used?

Second Harvest will use the funds for its Food for Kids BackPack program, which is offered in partnership with schools. The program provides bags filled with nutritious food for more than 4,600 schoolchildren to take home every other weekend and during school vacations.

Children are referred by their teachers or counselors to receive aid from the program, which is designed to give children wholesome, easy-to-prepare meals when other resources — such as school lunches — are not available.

The packs are distributed during the school year in 137 schools in Northeast Tennessee.

How can you help?

Second Harvest continually seeks sponsors and volunteers for the Food for Kids program. The cost to sponsor a child for an entire school year is $100.

In addition to the Red Nose Day grant, the program has already received support this school year from the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation, Massengill DeFriece Foundation, Mooneyhan Foundation, Johnson County Community Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities, Sullivan South Community Chest and many businesses, churches, clubs and individuals.

For more information, visit www.netfoodbank.org.