'Nutrition Month' to service food insecure Tennesseans thanks to nonprofit efforts

Second Harvest Food Bank
Posted at 5:31 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 07:14:35-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The relationship between hunger and health is getting an extra focus throughout March as Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee has partnered with LifePoint Health to kick off "Nutrition Month."

Nearly 450 partner agencies will assist in delivering more nutritious foods into the community, but in addition to providing food, their aims also include raising awareness.

According to the nonprofit, 1 in 8 Middle and West Tennesseans face food insecurity, which can contribute to a cycle of chronic disease.

“Food insecurity increases the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease,” said Caroline Pullen, manager of health and innovation at Second Harvest. “In addition, it’s difficult to manage these diseases and follow prescribed diets when you are food insecure. By increasing access to healthy foods, we can increase overall health."

Second Harvest will also release nutritional tips and healthy recipes on its social media channels to support the seasonal produce packaged by LifePoint Health volunteers.

Second Harvest Food Bank

A special packing event will take place on March 17, and it will also launch the new produce box program serving those facing hunger in the 46 counties that Second Harvest reaches.

“Over the past 5 years, our partnership with LifePoint Health has been critical to creating a healthier community for our clients," said Nancy Keil, president and CEO of Second Harvest. "This partnership has helped secure millions of pounds of fresh produce, in addition to funding some of our operational and transportation needs."

Keil noted that it is especially important to the foundation that beyond providing food, resources and information are made available to their clients for overall increased quality of life.

“We are deeply committed to doing our part to address food insecurity and help put nutritious food on the table for families across Middle Tennessee,” said David Dill, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health. "Our partnership with Second Harvest has helped bring our mission of Making Communities Healthier to life in very meaningful ways."

In 2021, Second Harvest gave out 11.5 million pounds of fresh produce, and they expect that number to grow in 2022.

To learn about the program and how to get involved, interested parties are encouraged to visit the Second Harvest website.