United Way Distributes More Than 3,000 Holiday Meals to Families in Need

Nov 22, 2021 | News

Hundreds of individuals, groups and workplaces provided meals to families across Greater Nashville

For United Way’s Give Thanks Day of Action, hundreds of individuals, groups and companies provided meal boxes to more than 3,000 families in need throughout Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman, Robertson and Williamson counties.

The boxes were filled with food needed for a traditional holiday meal, along with supplemental food to feed a family through the holiday weekend.

United Way created the Give Thanks Day of Action to relieve the financial burden that many families face during the holiday season. Based on three meals a day, the average family of four receives $9.23 a meal through public assistance programs. The average cost of a traditional holiday dinner is roughly $60. That’s six times the amount a family has available to spend on a single meal.

“More than 100,000 people in our community don’t have access to enough food,” said Brian Hassett, United Way of Greater Nashville’s president and CEO. “And one in six children in Middle Tennessee are considered food insecure. That can have significant lasting and long-term effects on children as they grow and develop. It’s not a truth that we can live with. And we’re so grateful that so many people in our community step up to help each year.”

On November 16, nearly 100 volunteers delivered the meal boxes to schools and nonprofit agencies throughout Davidson, Williamson and Hickman counties. The schools and agencies then distributed the boxes to families in need. On November 19, thanks to a $90,000 donation from Electrolux, 1,500 families in Robertson County received Thanksgiving meals at a pick-up event at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Springfield.

“St. Luke’s is experiencing an increased demand in our Food Bank as individuals and families who are already living on the margins are faced with rising food costs and having to make tough choices to afford food, rent and other essentials,” said Melanie Shinbaum, chief executive officer at St. Luke’s Community House. “These meal boxes offer a generous amount of food for hundreds of hungry individuals and families. We are grateful to the United Way of Greater Nashville for this extra support during the holiday season and appreciate the dozens of volunteers who generously gave their time to deliver the boxes.”

If you or someone you know is struggling to access food, please call 2-1-1 or visit unitedwaygreaternashville.org/211-helpline for help.