East Tennessee Food on Foot

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Food on Foot gives out 1,500 backpacks to area students

Posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 11:57 am

With a new school year beginning later this week for most students in the Lakeway Area, one entity was busy this weekend making sure those students had everything they need to head back to class.

Tennessee Food on Foot, a non-profit children’s ministry that aims to keep kids fed, handed out more than 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies over the weekend.

On Friday morning the non-profit set up at the Bean Station town hall to pass out more than 500 backpacks to students in Grainger County who go back to school on Tuesday.

A large crowd formed a line that flowed into Main Street as Bean Station Mayor Terry Wolfe thanked Food on Foot founders Bob and Carolyn Jarnigan for helping his community and looking out for the children.

Bean Station Chief of Police Bryce Justice said with a new school year approaching, nothing is more important than prayer. He asked the parents and guardians in line to pray over the children with him before they entered into the town hall.

One by one, some eager and some not so much, students entered the town hall to find the room filled with tables of backpacks and volunteers.

Students got to pick their own backpacks, which were divided by grade level and gender.

School supplies including notebook paper, pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, rulers, composition books, binders and more filled each backpack.

Also inside the backpack were snacks for the children.

On Saturday, the non-profit gave out more than 1,000 backpacks at its warehouse in Morristown.

Saturday’s giveaway, which began at 11:30 a.m., had families holding a spot in line as early as 6 a.m.

Carolyn Jarnigan said she was just happy and appreciative of the community for allowing the non-profit to be able to help.

“This is the seventh year we’ve had the backpack giveaway and we see more and more people each year. The kids look forward to it and the parents are so grateful for the help. None of this could ever be possible without the tremendous support we get from people in the community to do this. All the supplies and backpacks were because of donations and we could never do what we do on our own,” Jarnigan said.

Jarnagin said the buck doesn’t stop after the giveaway. The non-profit also gives school supply re-fills once a month throughout the year to make sure students have what they need to succeed.

Rachel Shultz, a parent of a Bean Station student, said she is very thankful for the Food on Foot organization because they help lessen the expense of going back to school and also put the needs of children first.

By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer


Giving Back: Carson-Newman players help Food on Foot

Posted on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm

For the more than 360 children waiting in line to sign-up for the annual Tennessee Food on Foot backpack giveaway, their patience was rewarded with an extra treat as the Carson-Newman University football team took over the non-profit.

Almost 20 players from the team volunteered their time on Wednesday to help register the kids, pass out food bags, sign autographs and play with the kids.

This year made for the second time the team has volunteered at Food on Foot after one of the parents of a team member first learned of the non-profit and did some construction work on the facility.

Evan Brown, a junior defensive end from Maryville said after he and his father, Walt, learned more about the program, he told his coach and asked the team to help.

“I think (Food on Foot) is incredible. If we had more people doing what they are, the world and our communities would be better off,” Brown said.

One of the senior leaders on the team, running back Andy Hibbett said Coach Ken Sparks is always speaking of community service and when the opportunity presented itself each player volunteered their time to participate.

Redshirt junior running back Randall Freeman said Sparks tells them a big part of growing is to give of yourself.

“As a team we want to instill that in all of our players so I think it’s important to come out and support the community and give back,” Freeman said.

“Watching the people come in, it strikes something in you. You don’t realize how fortunate you are until you’re on the giving end instead of the receiving end. That’s an important reminder to ground yourself and humble yourself as an individual and all of us as a team,” Freeman said.

While at the non-profit’s warehouse, some of the team took time to play outside with the kids tossing footballs and playing “whacky Olympic games” with them.

“Anytime you get a chance to work with kids it’s great. I want them to remember what we did today so they can grow up and pass it on,’’ Freeman said.

Also in the mix at sign-ups was former NFL player with the New York Jets John Merrill.

Merrill said he was happy to come out and help when he heard about the non-profit through Walt Brown who was doing work on his house.

He said participating in the day allowed him the chance to encourage young men and women and show God’s love through him.

“God calls us all for greatness, so what I tell young people is that in whatever you do, be the very best you can be because that’s what God called you to do,” Merrill said.

In total Foot on Foot plans to give out more than 1,000 backpacks for students of all grade levels.

Founder Carolyn Jarnagin said the organization has been blessed with donations and support from the community to pull off the large feet, but work is still needed.

She said she still is in need of supplies for the often forgotten high school age-group. The organization needs backpacks, college ruled paper, composition books, red, black and blue pens and protractors.

The backpack giveaway is Saturday, Aug. 2 beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Food on Foot warehouse, 1 Berkline Drive in Morristown.

Children must be present during the distribution to receive a backpack.

-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer

Food on Foot fights back

Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

Tennessee Food on Foot founders Carolyn and Bob Jarnagin stand amongst the damage of the non-profit’s storage warehouse after a pipe burst led to everything in the warehouse having to be thrown out in January.

Local children’s non-profit Tennessee Food on Foot is in the process of regaining speed after a pipe burst in its storage warehouse during the extreme cold weather last month.

The warehouse stored many items for upcoming giveaways the non-profit had planned including Valentine’s Day and Easter gifts. Other things stored in the warehouse included the excess school supplies the non-profit helps to provide children and also socks, clothes and blankets.

Because the non-profit, which mainly provides food bags for hungry children and adults, is sanctioned under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nothing in the warehouse was deemed salvageable because of fear of possible mold.

Two extra large dumpsters were filled to the brim with the water-damaged goods.

Despite the great loss, Food on Foot Founder Carolyn Jarnagin said she is looking forward and not back.

“One of the members on my board reminded me that after a flood (the water levels were as high as three feet in the warehouse), God gives us a rainbow. That rainbow came in the colors of the media, churches, individuals and business because after word got out, everyone was there to help,” Jarnagin said.

“What was so devastating for us was much of the things in the warehouse were community donations and things people had brought to us,”Jarnagin said.

Jarnagin said when the word got out what happened, she had more than 15 children call her to ask if they would still have food bags available.

“Even though our food was safe in our main building, we wanted to let them know they would always be taken care of,” Jarnagin said.

Jarnagin said the same week of the burst; the non-profit had planned to give out blankets to those in need because of the cold. The blankets were stored and ruined in the warehouse.

However, the Nolichucky Baptist Disaster Relief group led by Don Owens donated 100 blankets so the non-profit could still hold its giveaway.

The Rev. Tim Walker of Pleasant View Baptist Church called members of his congregation and with other sister churches together they provided 500 packs of socks for the non-profit to continue another giveaway. The church collected 100 more pairs than Food on Foot had planned.

Several churches and businesses helped gather Valentine’s Day cards and small treats to add to the regular food bag giveaway.

“Everything we had on the calendar still was able to happen and that’s all because of the community and their very much unexpected reaction and help. The community has been such a blessing,” Jarnagin said.

Next on the calendar is the Easter basket giveaway, one of Food On Foot’s largest project’s of the year.

Last year, the non-profit gave out more than 600 baskets to Hamblen County children. Jarnigan had already purchased and gathered everything needed for the baskets (except for candy and food treats) but all of it was stored in the warehouse.

Jarnagin said she is going to aim to do 400 baskets this year and will need some help in preparing them.

Typically each child receives a bag of jellybeans, Peeps, an Easter bunny, knick-knacks like pencils and erasers in their basket.

Again like last year, Lifeway Christian Bookstore, 130 Terrace Lane in Morristown, is selling small Bibles for $5 (or a donation of that amount) that will be added to the basket.

The Easter giveaway will be Saturday, April 19.

For more information about Tennessee Food on Foot or to donate contact 865-566-5778. The Tennessee Food on Foot main warehouse is located at 1 Berkline Drive in Morristown.

-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer

Morristown charity asks for help after water damage

Submitted by WBIR Web Staff

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014, 6:04pm

A Morristown nonprofit organization that helps children in need finds itself in need of a helping hand.

Water pipes burst above a storage warehouse for the Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation during last week's cold snap. When volunteers arrived for work Friday, they were greeted by three feet of water and collapsing ceilings that ruined hundreds of items set to be given away to families in need.

The organization gives food bags to about five hundred students each week in Hamblen and Grainger Counties so they'll have food to eat over the weekend.

They also hand out toiletry bags, food baskets for families, school supplies, and special items on holidays.

Organizers say they are working to move forward.

"We're going to try to get out today and tomorrow and get the food for the children for the schools. We're still going to take those to the schools. And we're just going to take it a day at a time. We're not going to be defeated by this because God don't want us to," said Food of Foot founder Carolyn Jarnagin.

Food on Foot runs strictly on donations and volunteer labor. If you would like to help call 865-566-5778 or go to their website.


Morristown non-profit loses everything to water pipe burst

By: Kyle Warnke - WVLT

Posted: Mon 11:18 PM, Jan 13, 2014

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) A non-profit organization that provides food, clothing and school supplies has lost all of its supplies to a burst water pipe.

The Food on Foot Foundation typically feeds several hundred people on any given week, and provides school supplies for several hundred kids every month. But with last week's cold weather snap, the owners are left wondering how they will move forward.

"It's a mess. Just a mess," Bob and Carolyn Jarnagin said as they sifted through their building.

The Jarnagin's started their non-profit several years ago to help kids get food and school supplies. It has since expanded to help meet the needs of the homeless.

Everything inside their warehouse was destroyed when several pipes burst over the weekend.

There are toys for kids, school supplies, a mattress the Jarnagin's were planning to give to a homeless man and about a hundred blankets for kids.

"It makes you want to cry to think about each child that was going to get one of these blankets," Carolyn said. "Now they're mildewing and sitting in water, and I don't know how we're going to replace all of it."

Carolyn's brother, Jerry Sexton, owns the business attached to the back of the building. He makes lift chairs for the elderly and likely lost all of his product being stored in the warehouse. He hasn't been able to get in to access all the damage yet.

"It's just an empty, sickening feeling. But at the same time, you just have to pull yourself up and know that God is able to take a disaster and turn it into a blessing," Sexton said.

The Jarnagin's were planning to give away hundreds of pairs of socks this weekend to the homeless, but they were all destroyed by the water.

When asked how people can help, Carolyn answered by saying she and her husband could use a hug and an encouraging word as they figure out what to do next.

To get more information about the Food on Food Foundation, or to make a donation, check out their website at tnfoodonfoot.com.

Food On Foot warehouse soaked by burst pipe

Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

Stuffed bunny rabbits, Valentine’s cards and coats that were set aside for children in the Lakeway Area were ruined after last week’s cold weather created a massive obstacle when a pipe burst in a local non-profit’s warehouse.

Tennessee Food on Foot’s storage warehouse was severely affected after the building’s overhead sprinkler pipes burst flooding the building and ruining the contents.

The burst was discovered on Friday morning but likely occurred overnight.

Food on Foot shares the warehouse space in the old Berkline complex with Sexton Furniture Manufacturing, which also saw significant damage.

When the foreman for Sexton came to work that morning, he opened the door to water spilling out.

The water inside was at least three feet deep because it was near his waistline.

Food on Foot Founder Carolyn Jarnagin said almost everything the non-profit had in the building is a total loss.

Jarnagin used the extra space to hold non-essential food items. The warehouse had everything the non-profit was going to use for an upcoming giveaway for Valentine’s Day and also items that Jarnagin was already collecting for the non-profit’s large Easter basket distribution.

Also in the space were spare coats and socks for children in need of winter wear and also excess school supplies that the non-profit gives out on Saturdays.

“When we came in to see it, some of the stuff was just floating in the water. I’m heartbroken, not for myself or Food on Foot but for the community who donated all of this and for the children it was for. Its just a loss,” Jarnagin said.

Jarnagin said while some items were boxed and covered, mildew is too great a concern to try to salvage much of the items.

On a bright note, as soon as some in the community heard about the devastation, people called to commisserate and offer help.

Jarnagin said many churches have offered to help and the Nolichucky Baptist Association’s disaster relief crew has offered to help clean the warehouse.

“The community here is second to none. The way they have already began to rally behind Food on Foot is great. We’re here for the community and its good the people we care about cares about us,” Jarnagin said.

For more information on how to help Food on Foot call 865-566-5778.

- By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer

Toy and Food Distribution

December 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

When: December 21, 2013 @ 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Where: Tennessee Food on Foot, 1 Berkline Drive, Morristown,TN 37813, USA

11:30 a.m. TENNESSEE FOOD ON FOOT will hold its 7th annual Christmas toy and food distribution at its headquarters located at 1 Berkline Drive in Morristown off Morris Boulevard beside Signs Now.  

Hundreds of students get free school supplies in Morristown

Aug 03, 2013

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Thousands of children are ready to go back to school after a local organization gives free away free school supplies.

More than a thousand backpacks were given away to needy students today in Morristown.

Food on Foot sponsored the event. The organization is known for providing meals to needy children, but this is the seventh year they've also given away backpacks.

Food on Foot Founder Carolyn Jarnigan says the event has grown every year "When we started seven years ago we gave out 40 bags... Now its more than 1,000".

The backpacks come with folders, pencils, binders, and other supplies.

Parents say this event really helps ease the burden of all the costs associated with kids going back to school. Sandra Marrisett is raising six children and two grandchildren.

"I couldn't do it without them. I couldn't pay $200-$300 today to get those supplies. There's no way being a single parent and doing this," Marrisett said.

Most of the kids were happy to receive the gifts, but even they noticed and appreciated the help they were given.

"I'm happy for the kids that get a backpack and how the people that help them get it because they don't have the money to get the stuff, and I pray for them and I hope they have a good life," Nick Duncan said.

Jarnigan says making sure that children do well in school is the best way to set them up for success later in life. "I think the way out of poverty is education".

You can donate to Food on Foot by visiting their website.

Food on Foot holds annual backpack giveaway

July 19, 2013

Carson-Newman University football players Anthony Baskins (left), Brandon Baker and Sean Rawson (right, foreground) help sign up kids for supplies during Tennessee Food on Foot’s Backpack Giveway sign-ups on Wednesday.

More than 300 children showed up at Tennessee Food on Foot’s headquarters in Morristown on Wednesday to sign up for the non-profit’s annual backpack and supply giveaway.

Those who signed up join an already long list totaling nearly 1,000 children who will need assistance with supplies to go Hamblen County Schools this year.

As a special treat and a big help to the organization, members of the Carson-Newman University football team manned the sign up table and gave out food bags to each child.

Sean Rawson, a senior free safety from Ft. Myers, Fla. said the team also signed autographs, gave out hugs and tried to encourage the kids.

“This is a chance to give back to the community and help those in need. More importantly we’re empowering kids to be able to go to school and have supplies they need to do their work,” Rawson said.

Rawson said he and his teammates know that children look up to them and they can often relate to them with many coming from similar backgrounds and circumstances.

“It’s a big responsibility being considered a mentor, so we have to hold each other accountable to that standard of excellence. It’s humbling to know others are looking to you as an example to do well, but that can be challenging as well,” Rawson said.

“I think Food on Foot is a great ministry and a great opportunity for us to show that we care and we’re here not just existing but doing something,” Rawson said.

The team learned about Food on Foot after the father of team member Evan Brown of Maryville heard of it through a construction project.

Walt Brown, who works for RF Becker Construction out of Maryville, reached out to founder Carolyn Jarnagin when the company heard she needed help with the warehouse.

Brown told his company about the organization, which then decided to donate the labor for the warehouse construction project with the help of donated materials from Cloud 9 Ready-Mix concrete.

He also knew his son’s coach, Ken Sparks, is big on his team performing community service, and would be willing to lend his players’ muscle to get the job done.

Brown and several football players have spent the past two weeks pouring concrete around the perimeter of the building to help solve water issues the warehouse had been experiencing.

One of the players donating his time was Frank Mutter from Hawkins County. Mutter, who has experience in working around construction, said he comes to help after practice and in his free time.

“It’s a warm feeling knowing you’re doing something to help someone else. We’re also helping Food on Foot save money that they will be able to use elsewhere to help the community and do great things,” Mutter said.

Jarnagin said she is very happy the team came to volunteer.

“They have been such a blessing to the kids that have walked through the door. Almost every kid had a chuckle or a smile because of the football team being around,” Jarnagin said.

With such a high number of enrollees needing supplies, Food on Foot will also need the help of the community to make sure the organization has enough for everyone.

The organization needs backpacks and supplies for boys and girls from kindergarten through 12th grade and especially items like wide-rule paper, composition notebooks, crayons and colored pencils.

Anyone wishing to donate can send to P.O. Box 2129 Morristown, Tn 37816 or visit the warehouse at 1 Berkline Drive.

-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer


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Amazing Gracie: Group rallies around young survivor

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Representatives of local organizations plan the Rally for Gracie McNally to help the three-year-old Vanderbilt heart patient return home. The rally will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at Big Lots on East Andrew Johnson Highway. Attending the June 7 meeting are from left, Carol Long, Rep. Tilman Goins, Tim Goins, Carolyn Jarnigan, Butch Grooms, Susan Bacon, Don Baird, Rev. Jerry Sexton, Richard Jones, William Bailey, Lisa Grooms, Gene Honeycutt and Dallas Honeycutt.

Once in a great while, if he’s lucky, an ordinary man falls in love with a special girl. And when he does — no matter his age or personal story — the experience will be life changing.

So it goes with several Morristown men. In this particular case, all of them have fallen for the same girl: three-year-old Gracie McNally, who appeared on the front page of the Tribune in 2010 and 2011.

Gracie, the daughter of Brandy McNally, was born with a defective heart and is currently awaiting a heart transplant. She has undergone several surgeries at Vanderbilt in her short life, including a recent visit to the Nashville medical center that resulted in three surgeries and a 40-day stint in the intensive care unit.

Gracie’s admirers include Tim Goins, owner of Morristown Tire and Performance and county commissioner, and Butch Grooms and Gene Honeycutt, both of the Hamblen County Car Club and Morristown Lions Club.

Goins was the first of the group to meet the precocious toddler. Brandy was a customer.

“It just amazed me when I first met this child,” Goin said. “She was 2-years-old, about to turn 3.”

He and Gracie both love cars and she would tell Goins about her four-wheeler toy cars.

“We have model cars sitting around and we’d get them out and I’d talk to her about them,” Goins said. “She is a very intelligent young lady, just a beautiful child. You know, you’re sitting there talking to her and you think, ‘I’ve got healthy grandbabies’ and you don’t realize how special, how blessed, you really are until you see a child like that.”

Brandy has said no to a big fundraiser in the past, instead covering expenses by making and selling crafts in addition to holding down a job. There have been small efforts to raise funds for her stays in Nashville, to cover gas and food. Previous surgeries were covered by insurance.

All that has changed.

A problem with blood pressure led Gracie’s doctors to change medication and order her into quarantine in March. Then came the three surgeries in April and the lengthy ICU stay. Gracie was put into a medically induced coma to ensure that she did not remove the many tubes that allowed her to live. She now has a pacemaker and requires physical, occupational and speech therapy five days per week.

Brandy has stayed with her daughter in Nashville 24/7. She lost her job. She lost her car. Her cable, phone and internet service were turned off. And Gracie’s valve procedure was considered experimental, so TennCare will not cover its $250,000 price tag.

Then there is the matter of a smart phone. In order for Gracie to come home, an app will need to be uploaded to communicate directly from her pacemaker to Vanderbilt. There are bills due, utilities must be kept on and all of Brandy’s savings, all of the prior donations, are gone.

After careful calculation, Brandy came up with a request of $2,165.

But Gracie’s boys have much more in mind for the girl who stole their hearts.

“It came up that she was having issues, and I wanted to do something” Goins said. “I thought of Butch. He’s just taken the ball and run with it.”

Grooms alerted his longtime friend Honeycutt, and they began making phone calls. One of the phone calls was to Carolyn Jarnigan of the Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation. Jarnigan quickly responded — a turnabout for the times she’s called Honeycutt for help with her distributions to children in need. She hosted a June 6 gathering to plan a fundraising strategy.

“We put this meeting together on Wednesday in about 20 or 30 minutes, standing up there in her building,” Honeycutt said.

Grooms said, “All of this came about, all of these people got involved, because we had originally planned on having her a birthday party (March 30),” Grooms said. “She loves penguins and we had her an invitation to the exhibit at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. We got her a little jeep to ride in, too. Then she went into quarantine and we couldn’t get to her. My plan is, if she gets well enough to go outside, she’s coming to a cruise-in on a Saturday night in that jeep. She’s gonna have a birthday party, one way or the other.”

“The party hasn’t been canceled, it’s just on hold for now,” Goins said.

“It’ll be a real blow-out,” Honeycutt added.

In the meantime, the boys and their friends have planned a fundraiser for Saturday June 15. Dubbed by Grooms as the “Rally for Gracie McNally,” the open car and truck show will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Big Lots on East Andrew Johnson Hwy. in Morristown. No registration will be required — donations only — but trophies will awarded, along with prize drawings and live music.

“People can just stop by with cash or checks, if they’d like to help Gracie out,” Honeycutt said.

“You can’t help yourself from helping this child,” Goins said. “You meet a lot of little kids in your lifetime and only a few will stand out. She’s one of those that sticks out and just grabs your heart. Even without her heart problem, she’s the type of kid that would talk to you and just reach out and grab you.”

“Twenty-five years of coaching girls’ softball, and I’ve never had a kid affect me this much. She is something special,” Grooms said.

During the June 7 meeting, a benefit account on behalf of Gracie was opened with a $100 donation from Community National Bank.

Checks should be made out to TN Food on Foot Inc., with The Gracie McNally Fund as the notation. Checks can be taken to any CNB branch or they can be mailed to Community National Bank, c/o The Gracie McNally Fund, P.O. Box 1919, Morristown TN 37816, Attn: Susan Bacon.

Gracie’s boys regularly drive by the house to make sure the power meter is still attached and the yard has been mowed, often by anonymous friends or neighbors.

“Prayers are still much needed and work miracles, I know, because I’m looking at Gracie,” Brandy said in a June 2 email to Grooms.

Those interested in supporting the effort to bring Gracie home, via the June 15 Rally or otherwise, may call Butch Grooms at 423-258-4368, William Bailey at 423-312-0551, Tim Goins at 423-231-6866 or Gene Honeycutt at 423-312-6972.

-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer

Free Easter baskets for more than 600 Hamblen Co. children

 

The baskets were provided by the Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation of Morristown, a nonprofit that provides free food, school supplies and toiletries to children from low-income families.

By HAYLEY HARMON 6 News Anchor/Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - For many children, Easter wouldn't be complete without a basket filled with candy, but for some low-income families across East Tennessee, that's not always a possibility.

Thanks to a Hamblen County nonprofit, more than 600 children got a visit from the Easter bunny Saturday, receiving free Easter baskets stocked with toys, stuffed animals and of course, lots of candy.

"I got a basket with a bear with a basketball. And some Peeps. Oh peeps. I like peeps," said 10-year-old Justin McAmis of Morristown, surveying the contents of his basket.

The baskets were provided by the Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation of Morristown, a nonprofit that provides free food, school supplies and toiletries to children from low-income families.

"It's all about the children. We try to meet those children's needs. Whatever that need is, we try to meet that need," said Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation President and Founder Carolyn Jarnagin.

Saturday's Easter basket giveaway, which included a free bag of food, is just one more way for Food on Foot to reach out to the little ones in their community.

"It's not a necessity. The Easter baskets are not a necessity, but it's just something we do with love," said Jarnagin.

Without the giveaway, many of the children wouldn't have received an Easter basket this year.

"I feel thankful for getting one because we don't have enough money," said Ebony Brice, 12, of Morristown.

The children and their parents lined up outside Food on Foot hours early, eager to get their hands on Easter treats.

"It's really awesome. It's not even cool, it's awesome. Just great," said McAmis.

All of the items Food for Foot gives away are made possible through donations from the community.

Despite the children's excitement, the Easter baskets mean just as much to their parents, who want their children to be smiling on Easter.

"The jelly beans and all that. That's what kids look forward to. I just think it's awesome. For a child to get it, it just lights up their face. Just makes them happy. I'm really thankful. Really thankful," said Shelia Penn of Morristown, who brought her two daughters to get baskets.

Food on Foot provides meals to local children all year long, totaling nearly 1000 every month, and they run entirely on donations.

To donate to them, call them at 865-566-5778, email Carolyn Jarnagin at Carolyn@tnfoodonfoot.com, or visit their website at http://www.tnfoodonfoot.com/.

Hoops for the Harvest Scores Big...And a principal puckers up

When Union Heights basketball coach Telford Rymer comes up with a great idea, you better watch out because Principal Chuck Carter and the Tornado Community will run with it!

And that is exactly what happened recently with their first annual Hoops for the Harvest Benefit game with Alpha Elementary.
Coach Rymer discussed with Carter that he would like the boys and girls on this year's Tornado basketball team to get involved in some type of community service project. It didn't take long for Principal Carter to find just such a fitting project for the young Tornados.

The local non-profit organization Tennessee Food on Foot provides weekend food items and backpack supplies to students in the Lakeway area, including Union Heights. "We couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to give back to those that are currently giving to our students," Carter said.
The next step in the process was to find a partner school that would come on board with the idea of playing a benefit non-conference ball game  with the proceeds going to Food on Foot.

A phone call later and Principal Kim Dyke and  Assistant Principal Jim Patrick had accepted the opportunity to involve the Alpha Bulldogs in the upcoming "harvest."
It was decided that a home and away series would be created and the proceeds would always go to a charity or organization that benefits our Hamblen County students. To spice up the event Carter and Patrick made a challenge that the school with the most food items collected would gain a visit from the sister school's principal for a "smooch" with a swine date.

"Jim is a great supporter of anything that will create opportunities for our students and both schools did a tremendous job of collecting food items" Carter added. Carolyn Jarnagin and Jeannie Jett from Tennessee Food on Foot were contacted and the date was set for a game to be played November 20th the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break.

Carter made an appeal to all of the area schools to join in on the food drive to assist the much smaller Union Heights school in their challenge to upend the Bulldogs of Alpha.

Several schools made contributions including Hillcrest and East Ridge Middle School and at the end of the day the Tornados had collected an insurmountable amount of food items which the Bulldogs were unable to overcome.

A grand total of food items, cases of water, and juice boxes surpassed the five thousand-item count.

"When Mrs. Jarnagin and Mrs. Jett walked in to our school and saw the amount of items that our two schools collected it almost brought tears to Mrs. Jarnagin's eyes. She told us that she and her husband had driven their car to pick up the items, and  that he would have to go back home to get their truck and trailer to move the amount of items that the two schools harvested," Chuck Carter shared. Jeannie Jett, representing Tennessee Food on Foot, said that many churches, schools, and other groups have supported their non-profit organization, but that none had ever collected as much as these two elementary schools collected.

After the dust had settled the Bulldogs won both the girls and boys competition, yet it would be hard to deny that the true winners on this night were the boys and girls of Hamblen County that are served by this worthy organization. Oh yeah, if you happen to be out near Tornado Alley next week stop in to see Jim Patrick as he "puckers up for the pig."

Happy Thanksgiving from the students and staffs of Union Heights Elementary and Alpha Elementary and also Tennessee Food on Foot.

Hamblen County Department of Education

Enlightening Friendship

April 30,2010

In an effort to raise public awareness about homelessness, The Tennessee Food On Foot Foundation is sponsoring an evening with Author Ron Hall, author of “The Same Kind of Different As Me.”

The event is a dinner to be held at Walter State Community College with Hall as the speaker. All net profits will benefit Food On Foot, a not for profit agency that provides nutritious food bags to the hungry. This ministry has grown from providing not only food bags but also tolietry bags, school supplies, backpacks and Christmas  toys to those in need.

Proceeds from the event will benefit programs to aid the hungry, homeless and underprivilaged in Morristown.

Hall worked for years as a successful art dealer. Denver Moore, an African American, led a life that was a stark contrast to Hall’s. Born in rural Louisiana in 1937, Moore was faced with a series of tragedies that eventually led him to live on a plantation where he toiled in the fields living in grinding poverty.

In 1966, his burning desire to escape the drudgery of the plantation led him to jump on a freight train in hopes of finding a better future. His attempt to escape the misery of his futile existence brought him to a worse situation resulting in homelessness and a 10 year stint in the notorius Angola Prison.

Upon his release, he resumed the life of a wayward drifter, poorly educated and wandering aimlessly in a world where the future seemed bleak.

Destiny brought him to a chance meeting with Hall who formed a seemingly unlikely friendship with Moore.

The friendship was an eye opening experience for Hall who came to better understand the issues facing the homeless. Hall’s book became a national bestseller with the author making frequent public speaking engagements.

The success of his book led to a sequel entitled “What Difference Do It Make.”

Currently, a movie based on their amazing story is in production starring Samuel L. Jackson.

The event will be held at WSCC at Morristown on April 30, 2010 at 7 p.m. with a VIP reception and dinner for event sponsors and guests starting at 5 p.m.

For ticket information call Carolyn Jarnagin  of FOF at 865-566-5778, visit

lakewaytickets.com or e-mail tnFOFFoundation@gmail.com

"Enlightening Friendship" by Mike Williams

Wink Magazine

Morristown Lions Helps in the Food-on-Foot program

We gave the Food-on-Foot program $700 and the program gave us a plaque acknowledging appreciation for our assistance. In the last month we have raised over $1,500 for them. $250 came from the Grainger County Ridge Runners Car Club, the Hamblen County Car Club, several personal contributions, and of course, the Morristown Lions Club. We strongly believe in what this program is doing in our community and what these ladies have accomplished in bringing this program to the level it is now. Between them and Daily Bread there are a lot of people in this community who are well fed and cared for each week.

tnlions.org

 

 

 

 
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A volunteer with Food on Foot helps fit a backpack on a young girl during the non-profit’s annual Backpack Giveaway in Morristown on Saturday.

With a new school year beginning later this week for most students in the Lakeway Area, one entity was busy this weekend making sure those students had everything they need to head back to class.

Tennessee Food on Foot, a non-profit children’s ministry that aims to keep kids fed, handed out more than 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies over the weekend.

On Friday morning the non-profit set up at the Bean Station town hall to pass out more than 500 backpacks to students in Grainger County who go back to school on Tuesday.

A large crowd formed a line that flowed into Main Street as Bean Station Mayor Terry Wolfe thanked Food on Foot founders Bob and Carolyn Jarnigan for helping his community and looking out for the children.

Bean Station Chief of Police Bryce Justice said with a new school year approaching, nothing is more important than prayer. He asked the parents and guardians in line to pray over the children with him before they entered into the town hall.

One by one, some eager and some not so much, students entered the town hall to find the room filled with tables of backpacks and volunteers.

Students got to pick their own backpacks, which were divided by grade level and gender.

School supplies including notebook paper, pencils, erasers, crayons, markers, rulers, composition books, binders and more filled each backpack.

Also inside the backpack were snacks for the children.

On Saturday, the non-profit gave out more than 1,000 backpacks at its warehouse in Morristown.

Saturday’s giveaway, which began at 11:30 a.m., had families holding a spot in line as early as 6 a.m.

Carolyn Jarnigan said she was just happy and appreciative of the community for allowing the non-profit to be able to help.

“This is the seventh year we’ve had the backpack giveaway and we see more and more people each year. The kids look forward to it and the parents are so grateful for the help. None of this could ever be possible without the tremendous support we get from people in the community to do this. All the supplies and backpacks were because of donations and we could never do what we do on our own,” Jarnigan said.

Jarnagin said the buck doesn’t stop after the giveaway. The non-profit also gives school supply re-fills once a month throughout the year to make sure students have what they need to succeed.

Rachel Shultz, a parent of a Bean Station student, said she is very thankful for the Food on Foot organization because they help lessen the expense of going back to school and also put the needs of children first.

By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer

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