Second Harvest Food Bank breaks ground on expansion
By Joel Davis | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Second Harvest broke ground Tuesday on an expansion of its headquarters in Alcoa that will allow the food bank to serve even more people.
A new cooler-freezer, expected to be finished in September, will allow Second Harvest to store more than 1.4 million pounds of fresh and frozen food. That’s more than 36 tractor-trailer loads.
“We are thrilled to begin this expansion project,” Executive Director Elaine Streno said. “The new cooler-freezer will allow us to provide an additional million meals — healthy, nutritious meals — to the hungry in our service area.”
Now based in Blount County, Second Harvest moved into its new 78,000-square-foot headquarters at 136 Harvest Lane in Alcoa in September. It purchased and renovated the former Walker’s Supply Company facility after the business closed its doors in 2009.
Second Harvest still needs to raise $600,000 of the $1.5 million to fund construction of the freezer-cooler.
Without the cooler-freezer, Second Harvest has been unable to take full advantage of donations, said Rick Johnson, chairman of the Second Harvest Board of Governors. “We were turning away tractor-trailer loads of donated food.”
Several local officials were on hand for the ceremony. “This is most significant because it shows how we work together to help other people,” Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor said.
County Mayor Ed Mitchell said that Streno has been a driving force behind Second Harvest’s move to Blount County and expansion. “I thought it was a big dream with possibilities,” he said. “She saw it as possibilities — not as a dream. She made this happen.”
The food bank partners with 525 agencies in its service area. Its local partners include Community Food Connection, Alcoa/Maryville Church of God, Chilhowee Baptist Association, New Life Ministries in Greenback, Church of the Cove in Townsend, RIO, Louisville Christian Assistance Center, Boys and Girls Club of Blount County, Jehovah-Jireh Ministries and a domestic violence shelter.
Donations can be made online at http://secondharvestetn.org or by mailing a check to Second Harvest, 136 Harvest Lane, Maryville TN 37801.