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Food bank needs money before making move to new location

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Apr 03 2013 03:49:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 03 2013 06:30:00 PM CDT

Imagine buying a home, but after making the purchase you don't have enough money to actually move your items in. That’s what's happened to an area non-profit that many people count on.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

Imagine buying a home, but after making the purchase you don't have enough money to actually move your items in. That’s what's happened to an area non-profit that many people count on.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee has outgrown its location in Gray, Tennessee, so they bought a new place that’s four times larger. The giant warehouse was once home to Sam’s Club, but is now where Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee hopes to call home.

The group bought the building in July 2012, but nine months later they still don't have enough money to move in. 

Crews are working to renovate the building so it's ready for Second Harvest; but because there's not enough money for the entire renovation project, they can only do a little bit of work at time. "We're taking the funds we've raised and we're doing the renovations that we can with those funds raised to date," explains Rhonda Chafin, the Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Chafin says the new building is a necessity because the agency has seen a 52 percent increase in need since 2007. “We need to be in here ASAP because the community will benefit as soon as we get in this facility," she said. "We’ll be able to do more, provide more food and services to those in need for food assistance."

To give you an idea of how much renovations cost, a new floor was installed for the freezer space at the new facility -- the floor alone cost $100,000. That price doesn't include the cost of the freezer.

To help make up for that money shortage, Chafin is hoping the community will come together and help their fundraising, “We know there are individuals and corporations that could contribute to this campaign and we hope they will," she said.

As of now the group is a little more than halfway to their goal of $1.3 million. They still need more than $600,000 before they can begin the moving process.

The new facility is located off of Exit 63 on Interstate 81 and is more than 100,000 square feet. It will include a large freezer space, a room for volunteer groups that come to help sort food, along with more space to store food for distribution in the community.

To make a donation visit www.netfoodbank.org or call 423-477-4053.