The Chattanooga Area Food Bank (Food Bank) was recently awarded $58,000 from the Walmart Foundation. Funding will support the procurement and delivery of fresh produce in urban and rural communities across 11 counties in Southeast Tennessee, providing over 565,500 pounds of produce—equivalent to 471,250 meals. Walmart representatives from the Kimball store location will lead a check presentation at 12:00PM Central Time on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Cornerstone Ministries, 300 Cornerstone Drive Jasper, TN. Cornerstone Ministries is a Food Bank partner agency located in Marion County. Walmart associates will also volunteer at the Cornerstone Ministries food distribution event happening throughout the day.
“We are thankful for the support from the Walmart Foundation as we continue to increase our efforts to provide nutritious food to those most in need in our area,” said Chattanooga Area Food Bank President & CEO Gina Crumbliss. “We set very ambitious goals each year, and we wouldn’t be able to reach those goals without the partnership of the Walmart Foundation and the 29 Walmart stores located in our service area. Walmart continues to be a tremendous partner in our hunger relief efforts.”
The Walmart Foundation’s $58,000 award will support the Food Bank’s Produce Empowerment Program (PEP), a comprehensive effort to address the needs of the food insecure in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia through Just-in-Time (JIT) produce deliveries. The Food Bank’s JIT delivery model was created as a way to distribute fresh produce—which is typically not shelf stable—to agency partners who do not have cooling and refrigeration capacity on-site. Partner agencies who participate in the PEP program receive large weekly or monthly distributions of fresh produce from the Food Bank and then immediately redistribute the food to their clients without having to make capital investments into freezer and refrigeration units.
Cornerstone Ministries, a partner agency of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, participates in the Food Bank’s Produce Empowerment Program. Each month, Cornerstone Ministries addresses rural hunger in Marion County by preparing a meal for over 500 families living in the region. Following the meal, each household is sent home with a mixed bundle of fresh produce that is sourced through PEP. In total, over 3,500 pounds of fresh produce is distributed each month through the Cornerstone Ministries food event.
In addition to the $58,000 grant, Walmart is among the Chattanooga Area Food Bank’s largest local food donation partners and regularly contributes through the Food Bank’s retail donation program. Each year, thousands of people in the Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia community benefit from the generous donations given on behalf of Walmart stores. On an ongoing basis, local store associates donate their personal time to volunteer at the Food Bank.
Founded in 1982, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank (CAFB) is committed to leading a network of partners in eliminating hunger and promoting better nutrition in our region. The CAFB acquires and distributes healthy food across a 20-county service region including Tennessee and Northwest Georgia with help from its network of over 300 partner agencies. Last year alone, the CAFB distributed over 13. million pounds and served over 25,000 people each week. In addition to food provision, the CAFB works to engage the public in the fight to end hunger and empower people to take responsibility for their health and their lives. For more information or to find out how you can get involved, visit our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.