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How to help: Second Harvest Food Bank seeks monetary donations, preparing for increased demand

The Second Harvest Food Bank said they expect more people will need help across Tennessee amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — As they work to feed communities amid the coronavirus crisis, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is asking for monetary donations.

The agency says a single $35 donation can help one person eat for two weeks.

"A financial contribution is the most efficient and effective way to support East Tennesseans who utilize Second Harvest’s services. As we will continuously change our operations based on the evolution of the situation, innovative solutions will be needed," Second Harvest said in a release Tuesday.

You can donate by going here.

The group also is seeking volunteers to help with food box packing at their warehouse. If you want to help, they ask that you call 865-243-8238 and ask for Dylan.

They note that "...volunteers will not be together in a group of more than 10. All volunteers will wear gloves at all times. Handwashing and sanitation stations will be in close proximity to all volunteers. All volunteers will fill out a screening questionnaire to be sure they are safe and healthy. In an abundance of caution, any volunteer with any cold/flu symptoms (including seasonal allergies) will be asked to leave."

The organization said they are ready to handle an increased demand for services as other food banks close and people stay at home from work per CDC recommendations, potentially losing income.

In a letter to its agency partners, Second Harvest said that they are fully stocked. However, they also said they are concerned supplies may be depleted quicker than usual. Financial donations will help them handle an  expected upswing in demand.

The food bank said it gave six weeks of inventory to schools in its Food for Kids program ahead of their spring breaks. As schools remain closed, Second Harvest said it will work with existing school and community contacts to arrange additional food available for pick up at the warehouse or schedule a delivery if there is no other option.

Second Harvest also instructed partner agencies to clean more often, for volunteers to greet others with a wave instead of a handshake and to practice good hygiene by washing their hands for more than 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

Besides volunteers visitors also will be required to fill out a screening questionnaire.

In a letter to partner agencies, they also attached a sign which agencies could use to tell clients and guests about ways they could stop the possible spread of coronavirus.

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