Non-profit turns raw foods from closed eateries into meals for elderly in isolation

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As COVID-19 forces local businesses to close, unused foods are being diverted from landfills and helping to feed our community.

It’s been a busy past few days of food prep inside the kitchen of non-profit The Nashville Food Project.

“Now more than ever, we want to make sure that we try and brighten people’s days, get some nourishment, food, and help them feel connected,” said Jennifer Justice, Marketing and Events Manager at The Nashville Food Project.

Thursday’s meals went to the Ark Program in Cheatham County.

On the receiving end were several seniors like 76-year-old Judy Bateman living in isolation because of COVID-19.

“Makes you feel like someone cares. It’s a lonely time for lots of people,” said Bateman. “It’s scary to go outside now thinking about all the people and you never know who has the virus.”

From a tough situation came one of spreading good.

A good chunk of the raw food has come from area restaurants and hotels forced to close because of COVID-19.

Recent donations (and poundage):
Prime South Meats – 761
Nicoletto’s Italian Pasta – 550
Westin Hotel – 200
Daddy’s Dogs – 60
Remedy Bone Broth – 200
Farm Burger – 50
Elevated Cafe – 400
Baked in Nashville – 600
Operation BBQ – Nearly 4,000
McGruder Family Resource Center – 7,200
Renaissance Hotel – 5,600

“We hate to see businesses close, but stewardship is a big part of our mission,” said Justus. “So when we’re able to receive donations, we’re going to do our best to do the most with it.”

The Nashville Food Project also has had to change around its operations because of CDC’s guidelines.

It’s had to reduce its kitchen volunteers to 10.

The non-profit also has changed how it hands off food to partnering organizations with a new no-contact drop-off.

If you’d like to donate food email davidf@thenashvilleproject.org.

If you’d like to donate money visit thenashvillefoodproject.org.


Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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