NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Deadly tornadoes hit Middle Tennessee in early March and just weeks later came the pandemic of COVID-19. Both disasters left people without homes and in some cases without jobs.
Nancy Keil, President of Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee says it's been non-stop for food assistance ever since.
Keil says the need for food assistance increased to about 65% for her food bank but donations are low.
"Our food donations are down about 30, 31% but are need for food is up substantially," said Keil, "We’re investing heavily in purchasing more food so we can make sure our partner agencies have the food that they need to get to the folks that need it in our community."
Keil says because of the social distancing orders in place a lot more people are going to grocery stores instead of dining in at a restaurant. In return, the stores are not able to donate food to the food bank - and that's what helps keep their shelves stocked.
"We are asking people when they are in Kroger and Publix or they’re out shopping if they’ll think about grabbing one or two things for Second Harvest, it’ll be really nice," said Keil.
Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee partners with more than 460 agencies across 46 counties. Keil says just $1 can help feed a family of four.
"There’s many, many more mouths to feed, the increase is exponential a lot more than we have expected," said Keil.
Food donations can be made at drop off boxes at any Middle Tennessee Kroger. To donate money to Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee, just head over to Second Harvest's web site.
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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.
What are the symptoms?
The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.
The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.