Surge in Rural Area Hunger
SEQUATCHIE, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Chattanooga Area Food Bank says because of Covid-19, more than 50 thousand children in Tennessee do not know where their next meal is coming from.
“We have seen that due to a couple of things: parents being laid off, first time needing food assistance, schools being virtual, students not being able to have access to meals at school” said Jeniffer Lockwood of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
Things are especially tough in rural Tennessee.
The food bank provides snack pack deliveries and hosts mobile food pantries for up to 10 surrounding counties.
“In rural areas there are less employment opportunities” said Lockwood. “There is also the possibility that those area could be food desserts. Meaning that they don’t have access to food within walking distance of their homes.”
News 12 asked the folks of Sequatchie about their food options.
“I think the county could use another food bank and maybe a grocery store” said one county resident. “We do have three of them in this county but it never hurts to have another option.”
“I think it needs to be a whole lot more of them for competition” said another county resident. “It would be cheaper that way.”
The food bank currently serves both Tennessee and Georgia from grants or donations from at least four different government programs.