NORTHEAST TENNESSEE - One in six Tennesseans goes to bed hungry every night. Many are seniors, who are choosing between food and medicine or paying their utility bills.
Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion – and five-time Bristol Motor Speedway winner – Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports have teamed with AARP and the AARP Foundation on a “Drive to End Hunger.” And with the IRWIN Tools Night Race coming this month to Bristol Motor Speedway, “Drive to End Hunger” is speeding toward the Tri-Cities! We need your help.
Starting Aug. 15, Food City will be holding a “food and funds drive” in Tri-Cities stores and accepting your donations of non-perishable foods for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee. Food Drive bins will be in place through race weekend – Aug. 28.
Since 2007, the number of individuals served by Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee has increased by a staggering 47 percent to 36,000 people every month. Second Harvest distributes food to some 200 food pantries in eight counties.
The food bank needs canned vegetables and canned meat, peanut butter and other non-perishable food items. The food bank also needs money. You can help a lot by giving just a little.
Food banks can stretch every $1 into approximately 5 meals for hungry Tennesseans. That’s why “Drive to End Hunger” donation vouchers ($1, $3 and $5) will be available for purchase at select Food City locations in the Tri-Cities area between Aug. 15 and Aug. 28.
“Hunger is a serious problem in America. Food City and our co-sponsors are proud to be a part of this ‘Drive to End Hunger,’” said Steven C. Smith, Food City’s president and chief executive officer.
For your generosity, we want to give some fun back to you!
The #24 “Drive to End Hunger” Chevrolet show car will be at the Clinchfield Street Food City store in Kingsport from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24. Bring your camera and get your picture made with the car. Spin the prize wheel to win “Drive to End Hunger” swag! Special guests include Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips. WCQR will broadcast live from the event.
Also, race fans can purchase a special ticket package for the IRWIN Tools Night Race on Aug. 27 – that includes a Q&A session with Jeff Gordon, a “Drive to End Hunger” hat and a BMS 50th anniversary poster featuring Gordon – along with a grandstand ticket. For every Jeff Gordon AARP ticket purchased, the speedway is donating $4 to “Drive to End Hunger.”
The Jeff Gordon ticket package is $124 and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL or 1-866-415-4158. Fans should ask for the Jeff Gordon AARP package.
“So many people are hurting,” said Rhonda Chafin, executive director of Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee. “Volunteers at a food pantry last week told me a lady confided that she had been eating ONE meal a day every other day for two weeks to stretch her groceries because she couldn’t afford to buy more. That’s why we are so grateful to AARP, Food City, WCQR, Jeff Gordon and all of our friends in the Tri-Cities area – because this really makes a difference.”
During 2010, the Food Bank distributed almost 7.8 million pounds of food to over 32,000 people each month. This year, the food bank is seeing an 11 percent increase in the number of individuals in need.
“The stories we hear from our Tri-Cities neighbors about their struggles to feed their families and themselves are simply heartbreaking,” said AARP Tennessee State President Margot Seay, who lives in Kingsport. “We really encourage folks to give whatever they can to help their neighbors and help us all ‘leave hunger in the dust.’”
A special thanks to food drive co-sponsor WCQR!
To learn more about the threat of hunger faced by 6 million older Americans, visit www.drivetoendhunger.org.
For more information on your local “Drive to End Hunger,” visit the Food City website at www.foodcity.com. Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. currently operates 106 retail outlets in the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee feeds the hungry by securing donations of food from national and local manufacturers, grocers and individuals and redistributing to qualified nonprofit charities and through Food Bank programs that feed the hungry in an eight county region of Northeast Tennessee composed of Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington and Unicoi Counties. The Food Bank is a 501 c3 non-profit organization located in Gray, Tennessee and is a member of Feeding America, the Nation’s largest Food Bank network.
Visit the Food Bank’s website- www.netfoodbank.org- for more information.
For more information about AARP Tennessee, visit our web page at www.aarp.org/tn,
www.facebook.com/aarptennessee and www.twitter.com/aarptn.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.