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Earth Fare donates ‘rare commodity’ to Second Harvest

Thanks to Earth Fare, The Healthy Supermarket, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is able to distribute a rare commodity to its local food banks — 836 pounds of fresh chicken.

Elaine Machiela, executive director of Second Harvest said, “We are truly grateful to Earth Fare. We don’t get a lot of meat donations, so this is terrific.”

MBA Poultry, producers of Smart Chicken, partnered with Earth Fare to promote giving through its Smart Giving program over the holidays. Ten percent of the Smart Chicken volume sold at the Shops at Turkey Creek location during November 2004 was given back in chicken to Second Harvest.

Earth Fare store manager Rob Hurst said the Smart Giving program was set up through the corporate office in Asheville, N.C.

“This is the second year that Earth Fare has participated in the Smart Giving program,” he said.

The food exchange took place Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the front entrance of Earth Fare.

Meat market manager Jason Little loaded the Second Harvest refrigerated truck with the help of Gail Root and Ruth Friend, director of programs and program assistant respectively, for Second Harvest.

Machiela said the mission of Second Harvest is the dedication to alleviating hunger in our community.

“We cover an eighteen-county area and distribute food to more than three hundred and fifty agencies that feed the hungry,” she said.

Second Harvest distributed 6.8-million pounds of food in 2004 and this year promises to be “even better,” Machiela said.

“This year has been phenomenal,” she added. “If we continue the rate of donations that we have gotten so far this year, we will be able to reach eight-million pounds of food distribution this year.”

Fifty-one percent of food donated is distributed to residents in Knox County. Machiela said this is because Knox County is a much more populated county than the rural counties.

Second Harvest had a set-back last month with the theft of a new refrigerated truck. The vehicle was taken from a fenced area at the warehouse on Delaware Avenue in Knoxville.

“That was tough,” Machiela said. “We have to wait for a month to see if the truck turns up, and if it doesn’t, we can file the insurance claim and replace the truck.”

Noting that Second Harvest continues to educate the community about hunger and the need for food, Machiela said, “Earth Fare and many other stores and super markets in the community have been so generous to us. It is especially important at this time of year.”

Machiela added another equally important goal of Second Harvest — to work with families who are poverty stricken and get them educated enough to stand on “firmer ground” in the future.


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