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:. About Us

Frequently Asked Questions


 
 

 

 
 

Where do you get your food?

We get pallets of food from manufacturers, distributors, growers, and other charities. Every manufacturer overproduces, or faces approaching "sell-by" dates, or has damaged cases in the warehouse. If they call Feed America First, we will respond within 24-48 hours to pick it up, and then distribute it. Many of our food sources result from relationships with people who work at the donors' facilities.

More and more manufacturers see the benefit of doing well in business by doing good in the community.

Where do you get your funding?

Most of our funding comes from individual donors who believe in the work that we are doing. They respond to our monthly newsletter (available in email), or at one of the many fund raising events we conduct each year, such as our summer Golf Tournament, Fall Banquet, or Alternative Gifts program during the holidays. We also receive some grant funding.

For each dollar donated, Feed America First has historically been able to provide enough food for 12 - 15 meals.

How big are you?

Feed America First has four staff members, two box trucks, and three refrigerated trailers, and we work out of about 16,000 square feet of leased warehouse and office space. With the support of dozens of volunteers each week, we distribute food to agencies within a radius of about 200 miles.

How much food do you give away?

We have given away almost 30 million pounds of food since we were chartered in June 2000.

Each of our agencies receives between 750 - 1,000 pounds each month on average. Our program is designed to augment the agencies´ food supplies from other sources, and we distribute everything we get: there is no order sheet. Approximately 50% of the food we currently distribute is perishable.

We also have our "perishables" program, for food we must turn over rapidly. Selected agencies pick up baked goods, produce, and dairy products as available from us weekly.

Do you ever charge a handling fee for the food?

In 2012 we began asking our partner agencies to pay a "Shared Transportation Cost" (STC) to assist FAF in covering a portion of our overhead. The STC is to help cover fuel, labor, equipment maintenance and repair, insurance, and more.

How efficiently do you operate?

Every dollar donated to us provides enough food for about 12-15 meals. Historically, we have kept our overhead below, using donated equipment and lots of volunteers.

Who do you serve?

We serve about 200 small, mostly rural agencies within a 200-mile radius of our Murfreesboro, Tenn., warehouse. These are established agencies that are often run by people who hardly have any more than those they are giving to, but they know who their neighbors are and they know who needs food in their community.

We focus on rural agencies because they are below the radar of the traditional charitable network in this country. Thanks to Second Harvest and other organizations, there are many resources in the urban areas for those who want to help feed their neighbors. But the lower-density rural areas often get overlooked, and they have just as much need. Especially since NAFTA, the jobs have left the small towns, and the able-bodied workers have left to find jobs, leaving many small towns as concentrations of the poor, the sick, and the elderly.

Where are you?

Our warehouse is located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 30 miles south of Nashville, at 315 Murfreesboro St., Murfreesboro, TN 37127.

We also have food drops each month at other locations. We meet agencies in:
Selmer, TN, at Petra Ministries: for agencies in W. TN and N. Mississippi
Sheffield, AL at Loaves and Fishes: for agencies in N. Alabama
Cookeville, TN, at Salem UMC: for agencies in E. TN

Who are you?

How do I get my agency on your list?

We accept agencies in non-urban areas that already have a feeding program, as we can. We need a copy of your 501(c )(3), and a signed agreement that you will not sell or barter any food donations we give you. To begin this process, please call Tom Henry at 615-512-5915.

What kinds of food do you distribute?

We distribute whatever we are given. Much of our food is perishable, like produce, meat, dairy, and bread. We also have dry beans and rice, drinks, chips, canned goods, and who knows what else. We often set up our food distributions on faith, since we do not have the food on hand, and food has always shown up in time for the appointed day.

This is food that was made improperly but is still nutritious, like a batch of chili with too much cinnamon, or cereal that came out too big or small or brown or light. It is food which changed the packaging, and so what is left of the older package design is donated. It is food that is nearing its "sell-by" date and the donor doesn't think they can sell it in time. It is left overs, or overproduction, or gleaned food.

Everyday is like Christmas, really. We never know who might call, or what might come in next. If the food is wholesome, we never say no!

How often do you distribute food?

Each of our nonperishable agencies gets one load per month. This includes the vast majority of our agencies. Each week of the month, we go to a different site for distribution. So, the first Thursday, we go to Sheffield, AL. The second Thursday, we go to Selmer, TN. The third Thursday we stay in Murfreesboro for our local agencies, and then head to Cookeville, TN on the fourth Thursday.

We also have some two dozen perishables agencies that pick up from us once a week. For the most part, our perishables distribution happens Wednesday and Friday mornings each week.

What are the criteria for giving away the food?

We expect all of our agencies to know who is hungry in their communities, to establish their own criteria for their neighbors, and to feed them. However, all of our food must be given away for free, and each agency has to sign an agreement that says they will not barter or sell this food.

What do you need?

We need more sources of food. Anyone can ask a manufacturer or distributor what they do with "salvage" or wholesome food they cannot sell.
We need funding, to keep the trucks running and the staff paid.
We need volunteers to help with the distributions, packaging, cleaning, and administrative work.

How can I help?

Make an online donation using your Visa, Master Card or American Express credit card - Donate Here.
Mail your donations by check or money order made payable to Feed America First, 1105 Blue Springs Rd, Franklin, TN 37069.
Donate your car, boat or trailer using "V-DAC" - Donate Here.

Some other ideas:

You can hold a food drive, or find us a contact at a company willing to donate food.
You can hold a fundraiser, or assist us with one of the several we conduct each year.
You can volunteer with us on Wednesday or Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or assist at one of our Thursday food distributions.
You can become an Ambassador, actively telling the Feed America First story to others and helping us raise money.
You can subscribe to our newsletter, and share it with others.
You can help with hole sponsorships, prizes, or teams for our Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser.
You can bring friends and fill a table at our Annual Banquet.
You can donate necessary warehouse equipment, please call Tom Henry at (615) 512-5915 to find out what we currently need.
You can invite Tom Henry by Phone: (615)-512-5915 or  Email  to speak to your group about who we help and why we do this awesome work.

Are you a 501(c)(3)?

Yes. We chartered in 2000 as a tax-exempt organization. We are registered with the TN State Dept Division of Charitable Solicitation, and can be found on the websites of Guidestar and Network For Good.


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