Community Food Connection seeks to meet needs
Sometimes it becomes necessary to “think outside of the box” and do things that may seem over the top. For the first time, the Community Food Connection (CFC) and volunteers conducted dual food drives on Aug. 2-4 at Food City locations on East Broadway and Hall Road.
The primary reason was that the CFC is down $25,000 in monetary donations the first half of this year. This is compounded by the grocery expenses on everyday items like cereal, canned vegetables, bread, etc.
For the past 67 months, the CFC has assisted an average of over 5,000 people a month. This number has stayed constant, even seeing more than a dozen months with 6,000 or more Blount County neighbors needing emergency groceries. It is my best guess that about 30 percent of CFC clients rotate off our rolls every four months. New families take their place. A large number of older senior citizens will always be in need because they cannot get by on Social Security.
In partnership with Meals on Wheels, there are 75 people that are on the Meals on Wheels (MOW) waiting list that receive a standard grocery bag of groceries every two weeks delivered by MOW drivers.
Every month the past 5½ years, the CFC has provided emergency groceries to 1,500 to 2,000 children who are part of the over 5,000 total monthly number. July saw an increase to 6,109 in the total number of people helped.
January through June the CFC provided assistance to 31,304 total people, 9,090 children and 10,533 families in Blount County. None of the above could have been accomplished this year or the past 22 years without the wonderful, solid support of the Blount County community.
This dual food drive was staffed mainly by volunteers from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, the Ladies of Harley, 10 Maryville High School National Honor Society students and about 18 Air National Guard members from 15 different states attending the NCO eight weeks of training at McGhee Tyson. Over 100 volunteers worked on these food drives.
The CFC is located at 311 Whitecrest Drive, Maryville. Hours of operation, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Call 977-4400 during open hours. Tax deductible donations can be sent to Community Food Connection of Blount County, P.O. Box 786, Alcoa. TN 37701.
Larry S. Ladd
Special Projects Director
Community Food Connection
1701 Westcliff Drive
Maryville, TN 37803