Delta Dental of Tennessee will provide $50,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts across Tennessee through the Salvation Army Nashville Area Command and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. The nonprofits will receive $25,000 each to distribute across the state based on need.
“Thousands of Tennesseans are relying on Second Harvest and the Salvation Army for food, shelter, and other critical services during this difficult time, and we are proud to lend our support to their on-the-ground work across the state,” said Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO and president of Delta Dental of Tennessee.
“As the need for resources and support in our communities continues to grow and evolve, we know that through these two important and inspiring organizations, we are making the greatest possible impact,” said Wenk.
Since 2014, Delta Dental has supported the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree initiative around the holiday season, creating “Miracle Moments” for nearly 13,700 Tennesseans each year. The Salvation Army plans to use the funding to support its services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, which has seen an increased demand during the pandemic as churches and other organizations have had to suspend or limit their services.
“We are grateful to Dr. Wenk and our partners at Delta Dental of Tennessee for joining us in our fight for good and supporting the efforts of the Salvation Army across the state of Tennessee,” said Major Ethan Frizzell, area commander for the Salvation Army in Nashville.
“Their support will allow for more people to experience hot meals, safety in our shelters, and the spread of love and hope that our officers and staff are offering to any and all who need it during this unprecedented time,” said Frizzell.
“It is partnerships such as this that allow us in the Salvation Army to continue the vital work of sustaining and stabilizing our neighbors in this, our Tennessee home,” Frizzell said.
Delta Dental also has supported Second Harvest since 2013, including the annual Hunger Action Month campaign in September, and supplies children’s toothbrushes to its BackPack programs, which provide easy to prepare food for children in food-insecure homes on weekends.
According to the University of Arkansas, 38% of Americans reported moderate to high levels of food insecurity during the last week of March, and Tennessee was one of the highest need states in the country, with 45% of residents struggling with hunger in the early weeks of the pandemic.
“During these uncertain times, we are grateful to Delta Dental of Tennessee for their continued support,” said Nancy Keil, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
“The need for our services has grown nearly 50% in the past few weeks, and we don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. We need partners like Delta Dental to help us continue to provide food to children, families, and seniors struggling with hunger,” said Keil.