Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. A special time for children and families, however many families in the area are experiencing economic hard times this year and there will be hungry families and children without much under the tree this holiday season.
Our local food banks will be seeing high demand in the next few months and agencies that deal with the needs of children are seeing higher than normal requests for help.
Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative is again doing their part to help fill in the gaps this holiday season by sponsoring their Holiday Food Drive and Angel Tree Programs and by providing grants from the SVECares program.
According to volunteers from the local food banks, while they appreciate all donations, items that they need most include protein items such as peanut butter, canned meat, dry or canned milk, and dried beans; cereal items such as noodles, oatmeal, rice, and breakfast cereals; and canned fruit. Personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, detergent, and deodorant are also in high demand as are baby items such as diapers, wipes, baby formula, and baby food.
To participate in the annual SVEC Holiday Food Drive, bring in six or more non-perishable food items or at least $5 to be donated to the local food banks in the county where the food is donated. While supplies last, as a “thank you” for your generosity, SVEC will present you with a canvas shopping bag.
Monetary donations are especially appreciated by the food banks as they allow the food banks affiliated with the Chattanooga Food Bank to purchase food by the pound at nineteen cents a pound, stretching their donation dollars even farther to serve more families. For each dollar that an individual spends on donated food, they can purchase $6-$7 worth of food. According to the Grundy County Food Bank manager, Sandy Spies, by purchasing food through the Chattanooga Food Bank your $1 cash donation can purchase $10 worth of food and when with the free food that the Chattanooga Food bank throws in with each purchase the amount of food can almost be doubled, so cash donations are greatly appreciated.
If you are bringing in canned goods, please remember to check the expiration dates of the canned goods. If they are past expiration, they will have to be discarded.
The Grundy County food bank is run almost entirely by 20 to 25 volunteers who receive no compensation for their work. There is a director position and an operations manager position that receive a small stipend. Director Spies will be retiring in January and the Food Bank board of directors will be filling both of those positions.
Spies stated that the Food Bank will be conducting its first annual “Hike Against Hunger” on November 27, at Tracy Lake. The cost to participate is $10 to register and $10 if you would like a t-shirt. All proceeds will go to help feed the hungry. For more information, call the Grundy County Food Bank at 931-592-3631.
The “angels” for the SVEC Angel Trees are ready with the names of local children whose families are in need of financial assistance this year.
The angel tags are set up in the lobbies of all of the SVEC offices. We encourage those who can spare a little extra for a child, to stop by this week and pick up a name. The gifts need to be brought back to the co-op by December 4, or before, in order to get them all delivered before the case workers are off for Christmas vacation. We ask that members take a name and purchase an age appropriate gift and/or clothing for the recipient and return it unwrapped, to the local SVEC office in a gift bag by December 4, to ensure delivery before Christmas.
Thanks goes out to the generous SVEC members who have already purchased gifts and brought them in but there are still several “Angels” in need of adoption. Please consider sharing your joy and love with those less fortunate during this Christmas season.