Feed Your Neighbors

1 in 7 Tennesseans are food insecure, which means they lack consistent access to nutritious food. According to the USDA, 31 percent of food waste at the retail and consumer levels translated to 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of edible food in 2010. This is food that could have been donated to help feed food insecure people. but instead was sent to the landfill. Additional food waste, nearly 10 million tons a year comes from farms, due to cosmetic standards of stores and restaurants, influenced by a high demand of “perfect produce” by consumers. Efforts from gleaning organizations and food banks helps to get this wholesome food from the farms to those who are food insecure.

So how can you help?

You are legally protected to donate food through the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and the Tennessee Liability of Free Food Distributors law. Check out our Understanding Food Donor Liability Protections infographic to learn more about the federal and state protections for donating food.

Here are 4 ways to help:

  1. Donate your time volunteering at a local food bank or pantry.
  2. Donate food items to your nearest food bank or pantry.
  3. Donate money to your local food bank or pantry. Every $1 donated provides an average of 4 meals.
  4. Volunteer to glean food from farms with the Society of St. Andrew - Tennessee Gleaning Network. This food is delivered to local food banks, pantry, soup kitchens, and other non-profits across the state.

Tennessee’s Statewide Food Drive

During Food Waste Awareness Week, we will be hosting a statewide food drive in partnership with the UT Ag Extension Agency and Tennessee State Parks. You can find a location near you during this week (April 4-9th) on the map below, and donate nonperishable food items.

Interstate Food Bank Competition

During Tennessee’s Food Waste Awareness Week, Florida and South Carolina are also hosting their own food waste weeks. We are collaborating with representatives from the states to do an Interstate Food Bank Competition. This will be virtual and hosted on Feeding Florida’s website. The Food Bank that raises the most money will receive $5,000.

Donate to support Tennessee’s food banks HERE