Second Harvest Food Bank needs more volunteers to help pack hurricane relief boxes


A Nashville food bank is in need of volunteers. WSMV's Tosin Fakile reports.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 7:21 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A food bank in Middle Tennessee is helping to make sure those rebuilding after Hurricane Ian don’t have to worry about food, but Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee said it is in desperate need of volunteers to keep the help going.

Officials with the food bank said volunteers have already packed about 60,000 relief boxes to help those impacted in Florida.

But they need more hands to help get more trailers filled and headed to southwest Florida.

“After a natural disaster, really what can get things back on track is having food in your pantry. Being able to feed your family takes the worry and the burden off of parents who are trying to figure out everything,” Courtney Blaise, Director of Community Engagement with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee said.

That’s a need this food bank is working to meet after they said the wake of Hurricane Ian in later September left homes and grocery stores in some Florida towns destroyed.

But to meet the need, it needs all hands-on deck.

“We are packing emergency relief boxes for those affected by Hurricane Ian,” Margaret, a volunteer at the food bank, said. “Tragic things happen, and I have the time to come out and help, be of assistance where I can, so I’m here.”

“Right now, we desperately need volunteers,” Blaise said. “We have about a month before the holidays and before schools are on break, before people go on vacation.”

Second Harvest Food bank said about eight trailer loads of relief items have been sent and a total of 60 trailer loads of disaster relief boxes are going to people in Florida; each box containing about 15 meals.

“And every shift our volunteers are packing about 1,200 boxes,” Blaise said. “So, you can provide so much food in such a short period of time for people who need it most.”

“If I have the available time, or even sometimes when you don’t have the time, you make the time to help somebody, and I always say that if you do it one time, you’ll do it a second time,” Margaret said.

Blaise said a volunteer shift is about 2-1/2 hours long.

People who want to volunteer can sign up for a disaster relief shift online and select Emergency Food Box Packing shift.