Nissan Neighbors program doubles funding to local food banks in Middle Tennessee and Mississippi to address unprecedented level of food insecurity
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan North America is extending its fight to curb hunger by doubling its annual contributions to local food banks in response to rising rates of food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nissan’s donations will help purchase more than 1 million meals for residents in need across Middle Tennessee and Mississippi.
According to a report from Feeding America, nearly 54 million people (1 in 6 people) may face food insecurity in 2020, including 18 million children. This means 1 in 4 children in the U.S. may be unsure of where their next meal will come from.
“Our food bank partners have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 in a number of ways, from an increase in the number of people they serve to a decrease in food donations to the reduced number of volunteers allowed in warehouses to assist with food packing for distribution,” says Parul Bajaj, senior manager, Philanthropy. “Increasing Nissan’s annual donations will help our community partners better meet this expanded level of need as we all continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”
Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee
“Nissan has been a longstanding supporter of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for nearly 30 years,” said Nancy Keil, president and CEO of Second Harvest. “A lot of industries are struggling right now, so we were truly blown away by Nissan’s generosity in doubling their annual gift to $200,000. As we continue to face so much uncertainty, this donation will ensure 800,000 meals are provided to our neighbors in need.”
Nissan’s contributions to Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee total nearly $1.7 million and is the food bank’s first Mission Partner, which denotes an organization that donates more than $100,000 annually. Nissan employees also regularly volunteer at Second Harvest’s warehouses in Nashville and Smyrna to sort and prepare food for distribution. In addition to funds and volunteering, Nissan has donated five vehicles valued at more than $100,000 to provide much-needed logistics support.
Mississippi Food Network and Our Daily Bread
“There is a saying that every cloud has a silver lining, and if there is a silver lining to the COVID pandemic cloud that is overshadowing us, it is how graciously those who are able, like Nissan, have responded with their financial gifts to help support the increased demand for food this unprecedented health crisis is causing,” said Dr. Charles Beady, CEO of Mississippi Food Network. “Nissan has been an integral community partner with Mississippi Food Network for many years and we look forward to the continued partnership.”
Nissan’s Vehicle Assembly Plant in Canton, Mississippi, has a years-long partnership with both Mississippi Food Network and Our Daily Bread food banks. Contributions in Mississippi total more than $311,000. Mississippi Canton employees regularly volunteer at both organizations to help pack backpacks with healthy lunches and snacks for kids with food insecurities. At Our Daily Bread, which also operates as a soup kitchen in Madison County, employee volunteers serve lunch to residents in need, and Nissan was able to donate a van to the organization’s “Meals on Wheels” program. Nissan’s recent donations will provide more than 200,000 meals to the local community.
Nissan’s donations to Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee, Mississippi Food Network and Our Daily Bread are through its Nissan Neighbors charitable giving program, a community-focused initiative dedicated to improving communities through charitable contributions and in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations working in three focus areas: education, the environment and humanitarian aid.
Additional details on Nissan’s COVID-19 response are available at NissanUSA.com.
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Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.