NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s time to sign your school up for the News 2 Food 2 Families School Food Drive benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee!

Elementary, middle, and high school students will be collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food again this year, competing to see who can collect the most. The food drive starts on Wednesday, August 25th, and ends on Sunday, October 31st.

Since the pandemic, hunger affects one in seven children in Middle Tennessee, impacting a child’s health, how they perform in school and even their self-esteem.

For 39 years, food collected by students and staff has stayed in each school’s community going to either local food pantries, school food pantries, or Second Harvest.

Schools that collect the most food per capita (items raised on average per student) can win cash prizes underwritten by Fifth Third Bank and Freeland Auto. Those cash prizes will be awarded in three categories, high school, middle school, and elementary school. Those prizes are:

Top Three High Schools: $1000

Top Three Middle Schools: $500

Top Three Elementary Schools: $500

These prizes are a way to say thank you for the hard work to help feed children and their families who are in need.

Freeland Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at 5800 Crossing Blvd. and Freeland Chevrolet at 5333 Hickory Hollow Parkway, both in Antioch, are food collection points for the public for this campaign through the end of October. Most needed items include canned fruits and vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, dried beans, rice and pasta, boxed macaroni and cheese, cereal, and peanut butter.

Apex Moving + Storage is helping during the food drive by picking up donated food at schools and delivering it to Second Harvest or area pantries.

So now is the time for school staff, PTA volunteers, and student clubs to register and request food collection boxes.

Schools can also send News 2 photos or short videos of what they’re collecting to and we’ll post them on our website. And be sure to tune in to “Good Morning Nashville” to see if your school’s efforts are showcased!