Ascend Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in Middle Tennessee, announced today the successful completion of a recent mobile pantry distribution drive that provided 22,000 pounds of food to 145 families in need in Lebanon and the surrounding area. The volunteer event was held in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee at Immanuel Baptist Church.
“Far too many of our fellow Middle Tennesseans worry about how and when they will have their next meal,” said Ascend President and CEO Matt Jernigan, who was on hand to help distribute food at the mobile pantry. “Lebanon is a tight-knit community where people and organizations are always ready to lend a hand. Thanks to our longstanding partnership with Second Harvest and the generosity of our team members, Ascend is playing an important role in helping feed families in the communities we serve.”
Approximately 30 Ascend volunteers were present Sept. 23 to sort and distribute the food. The food distribution effort was made possible in part by Ascend’s $60,000 donation to Second Harvest to purchase a 53-foot refrigerated trailer. The trailer helped expand its distribution operation, including its Grocery Rescue Program that collects, sorts, and distributes safe-to-eat frozen meat, dairy and produce from 314 grocery stores and food donors that would otherwise be destined for a landfill.
“In Middle and West Tennessee, one in eight people, including one in seven children, struggles with hunger,” said Nancy Keil, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee President and CEO. “The work done in Lebanon is exactly the kind of vital community engagement we need to help our neighbors. We are honored to partner with Ascend to help overcome food insecurity in Tennessee.”
Ascend, its employees and members have participated in food drives and raised money for Second Harvest since 2018. During the past six years, they have donated more than 41,000 items and raised more than $335,000.