Sumner County Food Bank Executive Director James Gill can still see the faces and hear the reactions of hungry families each month when they learn the nonprofit has run out of food to give away.
Despite being able to feed more than 600 families from across the county in both December and January, officials with the food bank have also had to turn away more than 100 others each month as well.
“To see cars lined up and all of the sudden we just have to say to the next car that we’re out of food… it’s just not a pleasant thing,” Gill said. “My heart goes out to all of the people that have been so adversely affected by this (pandemic)."
In an effort to help more families, the Sumner County Food Bank will partner with Second Harvest Food Bank to add a second monthly drive-thru food giveaway at the nonprofit’s headquarters, located at 1021 Woods Ferry Rd. in Gallatin.
The additional giveaways will take place on the fourth Saturday of every month beginning Feb. 27. Each one will start at 8 a.m. and go until all of the food is distributed.
“I know that still, no matter how much we do, I will still probably have to turn people away,” Gill admitted. “I just feel like this is something we’ve got to do.”
The Sumner County Food Bank will still continue giving away food on the third Tuesday of every month for families that live in the county. However, there will be no residency requirement for the Saturday giveaways.
Families receive enough food to provide a family of four with three meals a day for 10 days.
Gill estimates the food bank will be able to help between 200 and 300 families with the second giveaway each month. In order to do that, he said the nonprofit will need to secure up to an additional 40,000 pounds of food each month.
“We walk by faith and not by sight and we see a need and believe God will provide us the food to take care of it,” Gill added. “Yes, it will be a considerable increase in financial responsibility, but Sumner County hasn’t failed us yet and… I want to thank those who have helped us so much.
“We’ve got to do all that we can do, and I hope this helps.”
For more information about the Sumner County Food Bank, including how to make a financial contribution, contact (615) 504-6182 or (615) 478-2024.