NEWPORT—On a dreary Thursday morning in the mud of the Cocke County Fairgrounds, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 18-12 (CMVA) and other volunteers teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee to provide food to veteran families in need.
Vehicles lined up around the central loop of the fairgrounds and had their military IDs verified before proceeding to the B. Faye Fish Pavilion, where volunteers were waiting with boxes of non-perishable food, as well as eggs, milk and coffee to load into the trunks and backseats of vehicles.
Jennifer Kirst, Second Harvest’s Agency Relations and Mobile Pantry Coordinator, who helped organize and direct the distribution process, was thankful to be able to use the space.
“It’s a great location, the people just pull right up to the side here, we load them up, and they’re on their way,” said Kirst.
“[While we had supply] we served each family approximately 73 pounds of food.”
The process proved to be efficient, as the hundreds of pounds of food were gone within the first hour of operation.
Second Harvest of East Tennessee is a 501©3 non-profit organization based in Maryville, TN. The food bank serves an 18-county area, including Cocke, Hamblen, Sevier, and Jefferson counties. In Cocke County, Second Harvest works with several agencies, such as The Ark at Trinity Baptist and Sunset Gap Community Center in Cosby.
Along with their Mobile Pantry program, Second Harvest also provides resources through their Food Rescue program, their School Pantries, and their Senior Outreach.
“It really tells you that there’s a lot of need for this kind of thing in the county,” said CVMA member Gordon “DetCord” Roy, in regards to the volume of food.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to get out here and give back to the community,” said Roy.
CVMA 18-12 is based in Sneedville, TN. It is one of over 300 chapters worldwide, and one of 13 in Tennessee.
The association is a group for motorcycle enthusiasts with military service history. The mission of the CVMA is to provide assistance to veteran care facilities and other veterans in need, whether it be shelter and food, or something as simple as a “Thank you for your service.”
CVMA has chapters in all 50 states and D.C., as well as one in South Korea and two in Germany.
For information on Second Harvest Food Bank of East TN or to donate, visit secondharvestetn.com.
Second Harvest’s next veteran food pantry will be May 22. The location for the pantry is yet to be determined.