NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - More help is on the way for people in Nashville. This after Metro Council approved $2.5 million in aid for the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

The money will help the organization distribute food and goods to many impacted by March’s tornadoes, the current pandemic or both. 

When it comes to little things, like meat, peanut butter, canned goods, they are simple things on your grocery store list that you typically don’t think cost much. But when you are hungry and out of a job during the pandemic, those necessities start to pile up. 

“We just want to provide hope to people and nobody wants to ask for food! Nobody wants to. But people need it, and that’s why we’re here,” Keil said. 

Second Harvest President and CEO Nancy Keil works hard to help find innovative way to solve hunger issues across the area. So you can imagine her emotions last night when Metro Council directed millions in relief funding their way. 

“Very excited that the Mayor’s office and our council members are in support of this. So, second Harvest got 2.5 million dollars, that is funding for emergency food assistance for Davidson county,” Keil said. 

From shipping food supplies, to disturbing the goods, Keil says those funds will go far. 

“We’ll also need refrigeration, some trucks and some other things to make sure that we have the resources to transport that food and also for some of our partner agencies to make sure they have the refrigeration, shelving and things that they need,” Keil said. 

Keil says since the pandemic began, they’ve seen a 43% increase in need all across the community, which is why she says this money is needed now more than ever. 

“There are so many people who just--their jobs were gone in a moment. And so there are more and more people that are having to utilize food banks and they get that food through our 450 partner agencies across Middle and West Tennessee,” Keil said. 

It’s why Keil’s grateful the council passed the resolution, allowing Secord Harvest to bring a glimmer of hope to thousands of families who just want to eat. 

According to Bloomberg.com, food insecurity across America is growing. Data from the Census Bureau shows that during the pandemic, almost 30 million Americans said they didn’t have enough to eat during one week last month

One person who has seen this need first hand is Pastor Michael Cousin Sr. from Olivet Missionary Baptist Church. 

“Before the pandemic, we may have been serving maybe 40 to 50 families in a two day period and after the pandemic, it went up to like over 100 families coming through in a two day period,” Pastor Cousin Sr. said. 

His volunteers have worked around the clock to help families, many who never need a food bank before. He’s happy to know the money will help men and women struggling. 

“It’s hard to concentrate on doing anything when you’re hungry!  So, I’m sure this money that second harvest gets will benefit  a lot of people,” Pastor Cousin said.  

Keli says her team will use the next few days to look into how they can get the food out there and will bring partners, like Pastor Cousin up to speed. 

“It goes along way, but the funds do have to be spent by the end of this year. So, that is why we are going to be moving very quickly,” Keil said. 

For more information on how you can donate or volunteer, click here:  https://www.secondharvestmidtn.org/

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