The Tri-Cities Largest Food Drive wrapped up on Friday, August 20, 2010.  The drive, sponsored by Food City, Bristol Motor Speedway, 88.3 WCQR and 11 Connects, WJHL-TV collected 14,453 pounds of non perishable items to benefit local Second Harvest Food Banks. 

“These challenging economic times have left many of our friends and neighbors in dire need and we’re thrilled to be able to play a small part in helping fill those needs,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.  “We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our customers for joining in this very worthy cause and making The Tri-Cities Largest Food Drive such a huge success.  We certainly could not have done it without their support and contributions.”

The annual drive began on July 19th and included participating Food City locations from Greeneville, TN to Abingdon, VA.  Area residents were encouraged to bring their non-perishable food items by participating locations and deposit them in the specially marked collection bins.  All of the items donated benefit the local Second Harvest Food Banks.  Special collection sites were also available race week (August 16th through August 21st) at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

“We’re very pleased that Food City allowed us to take part in the food drive. They took the lead in extending a helping hand to folks in the area who are in need of some support right now and we’re proud to be a part of their team, along with 11 Connects and WCQR. Great things happen when you get a lot of caring individuals together and I think the success of this food drive is a testament to that,” said Bristol Motor Speedway president and general manager, Jeff Byrd.

88.3 WCQR and 11 Connects, WJHL broadcasted live from select Food City locations during a week long segment of the drive to build momentum.  Participating sites “raced” to see who could collect the most non-perishable items.  Food City #617 on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, TN took home the checkered flag with a total of 2,582 items collected during their three hour radio remote.  Representatives from Second Harvest Food Bank were also on site at the Volunteer Parkway location on Friday, August 6th to receive Food City’s matching donation of non-perishable items.

“The response by our community and our partners (BMS, Food City and 11 Connects) to the Tri-Cities Largest Food Drive has been incredible!  The exciting thing is knowing how many families will receive much needed food through our friends at Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Brian Sumner, WCQR Program Director.

“11 Connects was proud to be associated with Food City, WCQR and the Bristol Motor Speedway in helping those folks in our community who have real needs!  We were delighted to use our station to connect people who needed help to solutions that impacted their lives favorably in a direct and immediate way!” said Jack Dempsey, president and general manager-11 Connects

Second Harvest is currently in the process of picking up the donated items from participating Food City locations, which will in turn be distributed to those in need throughout the community over the coming days and weeks.

Rhonda Chafin, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN Executive Director stated, “We greatly appreciate all the sponsors for organizing the food drive and thank everyone who donated food. The need for food is up in our region about 24% over the past four years. The food collected during this food drive will go a long way toward feeding the hungry.”