The Story of Our Pantry

East Nashville Cooperative Ministry strives to build healthy relationships with each other, our community, and the foods we eat.  Unfortunately, for many within our community, easy access to a supermarket that provides healthy affordable produce does not exist.  Many of our guests rely on the city bus schedule for trips to the nearest grocery store.  This limits both the quantity and quality of the food available for purchase and severely cuts into available time during the day for work, family, and other daily responsibilities.  Our food pantry offers the organic produce grown in our gardens with the food we receive from Second Harvest and other donations from local groups in the heart of one of Nashville’s food deserts.  Furthermore, our focus on garden and food education teaches healthy food preparation and nutrition alongside the possibility for growing ones own food.  In this way, we depend less on supermarkets and point instead toward local ways of existing together.

 

SECOND HARVEST FOODS (Emergency Food Relief)

Most food pantries across the United States leave little to the imagination.  You arrive, wait in line to be processed and then are handed a box containing food picked for you out of various categories.  Due to our recent remodeling project, in our pantry you now hear the clank of a metal shopping cart, excited voices saying “wow, these tomatoes look wonderful”, and “it’s good to see you as well – the kids are doing great!”  East Nashville Cooperative Ministry is a proud partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.  In 2012, we deepened our relationship through our “Client Choice” pantry, which allows our clients to shop in dignity and make better food choices.  The relationship with our clients helps empower them to not only make good food choices while in our pantry, but to carry those over to the grocery store.  Due to our beautiful recent renovation, enlarged space and exciting modern general store aesthetics, Second Harvest is able to provide us with larger amounts of produce that goes toward meeting the nutritional needs of our community.

We are one of the largest food pantries in Middle Tennessee and our pantry is open Monday through Thursday, 10am to 3pm.  Due to our unique location, Second Harvest provides our pantry with unique items such as diapers, baby formula and baby foods so that parents can conveniently visit us from whatever part of Davidson County they are located in.

HEALTHY FOODS, HEALTHY CHOICES
(Prevention through education and health care partnerships)

Life in a food desert fosters a dependency on unhealthy foods. Overwriting these unhealthy dependencies requires both time and people willing to cultivate intentional relationships. ENCM is committed to helping resolve the issues that surround our community and due to our daily relationships through the services we offer we are just the organization to do it. The story of our pantry includes a simple blueprint of the importance of what a family should keep on hand in their pantry, creating a healthy meal out of what you have on hand and determining the best options for your family based on your dietary needs.

We strive to provide ample healthy produce for our clients. A majority of our clients in our Second Harvest program have type 2 diabetes and we are aiming to reduce that number significantly through education in both our kitchen and pantry. Healthy choices at home equal greater success for children in school too, which can help end the cycle of poverty. ENCM uses its experiences of working with families in poverty to work toward a sustainable development model built around healthy food.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Our pantry is volunteer driven.  Without individuals helping us stock shelves and walk with our clients as they select foods from the client choice shelves we will not be effective.  If you are interested in helping our client’s budget, give tips for healthy eating, and help with the day to day maintenance of our pantry, please send an email to info@encm.org for more information.

 

DONATION AND PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

If you wish to help us build our healthy programs that help to lower health costs and health issues in our community, please visit us in person or mail in your donation to the address below. To give an on-line donation visit www.givingmatters.org and type in East Nashville Cooperative Ministry. Our donation link is on our home page for your convenience. For questions about how your family, church or business can partner with us, or how your donation can be directed to specific programs, please contact us.

Our Address for volunteering and/or donations:

East Nashville Cooperative Ministry
807 Main Street
Nashville, TN 37206