Food Drives

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Food Drive Information

Many in our region struggle with hunger every day. As many as 1 in 7 children and adults in northeast Tennessee are food-insecure, meaning they may not always have reliable access to the food they need — Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap

Food drives are an important source of food for Second Harvest. You can help — Host a food drive or donate to a food drive near you.


How Do I Organize a Food Drive?
  • Determine how and where food will be collected. You may use boxes, barrels, or bins. Small to medium-sized boxes work well. We can also deliver barrels with at least 48 hours notice.
  • Give us a start and end date, along with the location of the drive. Once the food is collected, you can deliver it directly to our warehouse or call us to arrange pick up. Pick-ups are coordinated into our current truck routes and could take a couple of days depending on the service area location.
  • Barrels provided by Second Harvest come with a poster or wrap that says “Food Drive to Benefit Second Harvest”. You may decorate the barrels by wrapping them with paper and then decorating the paper. Please do not mark on the barrels or barrel wraps.
  • Appoint someone in charge of logistics, such as barrel locations and the physical collection of the food. 
  • Set a goal! Determine how much food you would like to collect during your food drive. How many potential contributors do you have? Will you collect food or cash-or both?
  • Consider holding internal competitions and award winners with special recognition.

Spread the word! Create a poster explaining your food drive and post it on walls, barrels, and in other public places to inform everyone about your drive. You can also put fliers in paychecks and advertise the food drive in communications with your group, like emails and newsletters

What Items Should I Collect?

Food items we always need include:

  • Cereal, Rice, and Dried Beans
  • Canned Tuna Fish and Meat
  • Canned Soups
  • Spaghetti Sauce, Pasta, and Noodles
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Tomatoes, Veggies, and Fruit
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Baby Food
  • Diapers
What Happens to the Food Once it Gets to Second Harvest?
  • Volunteers sort and box the items in the warehouse.
  • The food is distributed to charities who serve those in need in Northeast Tennessee.
  • There is absolutely no cost to the donor or the charity.

We’re Here to Help

We want your food drive to succeed! To register your food drive, fill out the form below or call Jon Grim at (423) 279-0430 x224.

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