Mobile food pantry heads to more schools in Northeast Tennessee

BRISTOL, Tenn. - March is national nutrition month, but for many families in the Tri-Cities putting nutritious food on the table isn't easy.

News 5 discovered that the Second Harvest Food Bank is now bringing food to communities in need.

Cabbage, potatoes, and yogurt are just some of the healthy foods that line the cafeteria tables at Weaver Elementary, but the fresh goods aren't all for students. Becky Stophel came to get food for her family.

"We come out to get food; we thank The Lord for that," said Becky Stophel.

Stophel tells us she's out of work and needs help feeding her family.

"My husband has two [children] and I've got 3 [children] and it just helps to feed them. You've got to do for your kids first," said Stophel.

Stophel was one of more than 50 people who came to the school to take advantage of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee's school pantry program; once a month families get the food they need here [Weaver Elementary] for free and the school provides volunteers to help with the distribution.

Second Harvest's Kathy Smith tells us, thanks to a $20,000 grant from Proctor & Gamble they'll soon bring their mobile food pantry to 7 schools in Northeast Tennessee.

"We work with the teachers, the guidance counselors, and the school nurses to identify families that need this announcement," said Kathy Smith, of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee Director of Community Relations, "So they tell the families to come here, they get the food they need and are in the a comfortable environment and there used to being here."

Despite the snow and having to wait in the cold, Stophel tells us she's grateful.

"It makes me feel great; it's wonderful that they are still people in the world that will help others. There are a lot needy people out there," said Stophel.

The mobile food pantry will stop by Weaver Elementary on April 7, if you're in need and would like to register for the food giveaway contact the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

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