Monthly Service Challenge

Each month, a new mission will be posted as motivation for us all to roll up our sleeves and serve our communities. Be sure to keep the Office of the First Lady in the loop by posting on social media using #TennesseeServes for a chance to be recognized as a Service Spotlight. Grab your friends, family, classmates or colleagues and join us as Tennessee Serves!


Tennessee Serves Supports Tennessee's Homeless and Food Insecure

It is our hope that Tennesseans thrive – not simply survive. For this to be possible, they must have the essential resources necessary for life. Food and a home are two things many of us take for granted, but something many are fighting to obtain.

Right now, in Tennessee there are more than 800,000 people facing hunger – with almost 200,000 of those being children. Additionally, across our state there are almost 8,000 individuals facing homelessness.

We must not sit idly by while our neighbors face these overwhelming struggles. It is important for all of us, in every community across Tennessee, to come together and help our fellow Tennesseans.

Throughout the month of April, Tennessee Serves is working to fight food insecurity and homelessness in Tennessee. We will highlight impactful organizations that distribute meals, meet essentials needs, provide services, and offer resources to those affected, participate in service projects, and empower Tennesseans to do the same. Follow along with our efforts and find ways you can get involved in reducing hunger and homelessness across Tennessee.

Service Opportunities

Tennessee Food Insecurity and Homeless Nonprofits
Family Promise of Roan County
TN Valley Coalition for the Homeless
Knox Area Rescue Ministries
Good Samaritan Ministries
Second Harvest of North East TN
Chattanooga Area Food Bank
Haven of Mercy Ministries
Chattanooga Rescue Mission
Fed by Faith
Layman Lessons
The Little Pantry That Could
St. Luke’s Community House
Room in the Inn
Open Table Nashville
The Journey Home
Second Harvest of Middle TN
Nashville Rescue Mission
The Bridge Ministry
West TN Continuum of Care
Memphis Union Mission
Doors of Hope
Memphis Dream Center
St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen
Tennessee Homeless Solutions
MidSouth Food Bank
Memphis Union Mission
Area Relief Ministries
Meals of Hope
US Hunger
Salvation Army
Second Harvest Food Bank
Tennessee Aging Nutrition Program
Meals on Wheels
Suggested Service Opportunities
**Please note that First Lady Maria Lee and the TN Serves team will not be attending these specific project in-person, but we encourage you to get involved with these great opportunities to serve this population.**
The Warner Exchange, Nashville, anytime: Sign up to volunteer in this food pantry that benefits families with students at Warner Elementary, or you can purchase items from their wish list that will go directly to families in need.
YAIPAK, Clarksville, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, times vary: Volunteers will serve in their warehouse to sort, restock, and organize donations.
Bucky’s Food Pantry, Johnson City, anytime: Apply to volunteer at the food pantry that benefits members of the ETSU community experiencing food insecurity.
The Journey Home, Murfreesboro, anytime: Volunteers can serve in their café, work on building or maintenance, work in the outreach center, and many more options.
Salvation Army, Knoxville, any day, 11am – 1pm ET: Volunteers are needed every day to serve meals or assist with kitchen duties.
Second Harvest Food Bank, Morristown, April 2, 10 am- 1pm ET: Volunteers can make a difference in Hamblen County assisting with mobile pantry distribution support.
Memphis Union Mission, Memphis, Fridays, 4:45pm CT: Bring your whole family to serve meals at the Mission on their Friday Family Nights. 
Everyday Ways to Serve those who Serve
  • Sign up to cook or serve a meal at a shelter.
  • Keep water bottles and protein bars in your car to pass out to unhoused individuals you encounter on your daily route.
  • Donate necessities like food, clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, socks, toiletries, or products such as adult diapers to a local shelter, food bank, or other nonprofit that serves the unhoused and food insecure.
  • Use your skills, talents, or business to provide a free service for the homeless like haircuts, laundry services, computer literacy tutoring, etc.
  • Organize a food drive in your workplace or community and collect donations for a food pantry.
  • Sign up to deliver a hot meal to someone who is home-bound through a Meals on Wheels program.