Fighting Hunger One Potato At a Time

Summer break isn’t all fun and games for families on a tight budget. With more than 70 percent of public school students qualifying for free or reduced breakfast and lunch, hunger statistics rise during the summer months because many children miss out on guaranteed meals at school.

That’s why Nashville Electric Service (NES) partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for the Public Power Day of Giving on June 16.

“I volunteered because I feel so blessed in my life and I want to give back to the community and those who are less fortunate,” shared Tim Holt, NES associate engineer.

Fifty employees sorted and packed almost 14,000 pounds of sweet potatoes to help meet the needs of families struggling to find where their next meal will come from.

“I never thought I would see so many sweet potatoes!” commented Shaundrell Nicholson, NES customer relations supervisor.

According to Second Harvest, out of the 46 counties it serves, close to 400,000 people struggle to find where their next meal will come from each day. Volunteers work daily to sort and move truckloads of food that are donated each month rather than it going to waste.

“My favorite part of the day was experiencing the teamwork that we exhibited,” said Amy Wheeler, NES supplier diversity coordinator. “Bagging almost seven tons of sweet potatoes was no easy task but everyone was doing it with smiles on their faces.”

The American Public Power Association’s annual Day of Giving is a nationwide initiative now in its tenth year and showcases public power’s commitment to community service.

NES is proud to have played a small part in supporting this effort as we continue our mission of powering strong communities by providing safe, reliable power to Middle Tennessee.

Fun Facts about Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes are not actually related to potatoes or yams.
  • Native Americans were growing sweet potatoes when Columbus arrived in 1492.
  • George Washington grew sweet potatoes on his farm in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
  • North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes than any other state in the U.S.

Check out photos from Day of Giving in our Facebook album.