Food Services and Programs

At Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, we collect and distribute food throughout our community using a variety of programs and services. Food bank programs that provide direct service include: The Food for Kids Backpack Program, Summer Food Service Program, The Kids Café Program, The Mobile Food Bank, and the Mobile Food Pantry.

Food collection services

Food Bank

We collect, sort, store, repackage and distribute millions of pounds of food every year. Our 112,000+ square foot facility allows us to receive truckloads of food and distribute it to our network of 140 partner agencies.

Food Rescue

Every day, our Food Rescue teams collect hundreds of pounds of fresh produce, dairy, deli, meat, and bakery items from grocery stores around the area. We always welcome new commercial food businesses to partner with our Food Rescue program.

Contact Jon Grim if you would like to partner with us at (423) 279-0430 ext. 224 – Work Cell (423) 360-1731 or E-mail:

Food distribution services

Agency Partners

Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee works with approximately 140 local agencies that provide food and meals to the hungry families in our community.

Second Harvest Programs

The Food for Kids Backpack Program®

The Food for Kids Backpack Program® provides a bag full of healthy snacks and easily prepared meal items for children in need to take home and eat after school and on weekends. The program is offered through every school in our region and children are identified by their school nurse or counselors for the program. 4,300 children are now being served. Sponsors are secured every year so that every child in need of the Food for Kids program may be served.

Mobile Food Pantry

Sometimes there is no food pantry or soup kitchen located where food assistance is needed.  The Mobile Food Pantry of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee comes to the rescue providing regular distributions of food and grocery products to fill these gaps in need in our region and get the food out where it is most needed reaching thousands of people in need.  During 2018 the Mobile Food Pantry distributed 1,300,275 million pounds of food to needy individuals and families in Northeast Tennessee.

Interested organizations and sponsors are needed to host Mobile Food Pantry distributions in various communities throughout the region.  If you are interested, please contact Leyla Cruz at (423) 279-0430 ext. 202 or

Kids Cafe® 

Kids Café® enables Food Bank agencies to provide food for children and youth programs where over 55% of children attending are at or below the poverty level.  This program served an average of 500 children each month.

Summer Food Service Program®

Summer is a difficult time for families struggling with food insecurity due to the absence of meals provided for children while they are in school.  Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee meets the needs of families through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

Food is distributed to children in our SFSP program using two models 1) a traditional Summer Food Service program model at stationary sites and 2) a mobile distribution model, our Lunch Express buses. The SFSP menu that meets USDA requirements is planned for a two-week cycle SHFBNT uses a combination of packed meals and Thaw & Serve meals. An example of a thaw & serve meal is a Frozen sandwich, cheese stick, applesauce, juice, and milk. An example of a packed breakfast is cereal, whole grain snack, juice, and milk. An example of a packed lunch is hummus, whole grain tortilla chips, sunflower seeds, canned peaches, craisins, and milk.

All SFSP sites will provide adults with a meal option so they can eat lunch with their children if they bring them to a Lunch Express. Food boxes along with produce and perishable food will be given out to families with children through the Mobile Food Pantry and at all SFSP sites of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Fresh Produce Distribution

This program provides fresh produce to individuals and families at sites in low-income communities or in conjunction with the food bank’s agency distributions.

Senior Grocery Program

Food box distributions made to low-income seniors at sites with easy access.  An average of 952 seniors receive food assistance from the program each month.

Mobile Food Bank

Deliveries are made once a month to Second Harvest partner agencies that lack resources like vehicles and volunteers to visit the warehouse to pick up food.