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A food drive at The 1st United Methodist Church was held on Friday, with roughly 80 volunteers gathering to help those in need. David Young did his part by handing out fresh produce to guests as they came by with their carts.

A food drive at The 1st United Methodist Church was held on Friday, with roughly 80 volunteers gathering to help those in need.

“We gave vouchers to The Attic Outlet, Good Samaritan, The Storehouse and The Shepherd’s House to hand out to their customers prior to the food drive, in case some of them were food-insecure,” Lynne Atkielski, coordinator of the food drive, said. “We had 89 out of 157 vouchers that were given out actually show up. We filled their carts full and helped them pile it all into their cars.”

It took about three hours to help the 89 families. The remaining goods were divided up equally and donated to the four nonprofits that helped with the drive so that nothing went to waste.

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Esther Sims, left, Ann Cunningham and Margaret Maddox assemble paper sacks full of goods to pass out to guests. Their smiling faces were at the last table that people went by on their way out of the food drive.

Second Harvest donated all of the perishable goods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) gave a grant of $2500 that covered all of the non-perishables as well as transportation for those in need.

TVA, Tullahoma Utilities Authority (TUA) and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) all sent out volunteers to help, as well as 50 volunteers from the Methodist church.

“It was a really great event and we had a large enough area to do it,” Atkielski said. “We had previously hosted something like this in the past, and TVA contacted us when they were able to offer us the grant.”

“There were a lot of people who got to sleep a little easier Friday night knowing that they had food in their pantry,” Atkielski said. “That is why we do it. It warms my heart.”

Katelyn Lawson may be reached at klawson@tullahomanews.com.