An international charity dedicated to helping children is putting down new roots in Middle Tennessee. Feed the Children has just moved its distribution center to Rutherford County, and the change should make a big difference.
"Hunger is something that does not go away. It is a need that exists, no matter what the time of year," said Erin Engelke, with Feed the Children.
And it's a need close to home. Some may be surprised to learn that the number of children living in poverty in Tennessee could fill LP Field's 68,000 seats more than five times.
By moving its Nashville distribution center to La Vergne, leaders at Feed the Children say they will cut overhead and free up more dollars for those in need.
"They will pack around 22 pallets, which fluctuates from 1,300 to 1,600 individual boxes per day," said Tim Marchbanks, with Feed the Children.
Volunteers will pack those boxes along two conveyors - one for food items like peanut butter and green beans, another for personal items like deodorants and shampoos. Twelve million pounds of food is expected to be sent out from the new center, with much of it helping the immediate area.
"The majority of the schools here in La Vergne are 80 percent free and reduced lunch, which means that we have a lot of needy families here in this area," said La Vergne Mayor Senna Mosley.
Mosley gets emotional talking about the difference the distribution center will make, especially with the addition of a teacher store that will offer free books and supplies.
"Many teachers will spend up to $1,000 of their own money to purchase classroom supplies and school supplies, so this is our way of feeding the mind," Engelke said.
It's a huge difference that this one place will make in the lives of so many children.
After moving its supply, Feed the Children will have the ability to feed about 1,600 area families in about two weeks.
The group partners with local organizations like churches to get that food into the right hands. They are always in need of volunteers and donations. For more information, visit: http://www.feedthechildren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=org_give
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