A hometown product returns to McMinnville for the ninth straight year Saturday to raise funds for the Warren County Emergency Food Bank.
Chip Greene and Friends has raised as much as $10,000 for the Food Bank with the annual concert. Food Bank Director Helen Owens said the facility needs more support now than ever. She said over the last few, the number of residents served weekly has more than tripled.
“Every day, every week I see it, and you know, it just bears on you,” Owens said. “We need the support. We had a pretty good balance, and it’s vastly shrinking quickly.”
Owens said it is important for the community to come out to the show for the good music and to help support those in need. The concert begins at 5pm Saturday at Smooth Rapids in McMinnville.
“These are hard times for a lot of people,” Owens said. “Food insecurity impacts at least one out of every 30 people if not more than that especially with inflation the way it is now. A dollar does not go as far. It just breaks my heart to see elderly people especially. They sometimes have to choose between food and medicine.”
Owens said helping homeless children is also a priority of the food bank.
“When a child goes without nutrition of course it effects their growth, it effects their mind, it effects their learning in school, and actually we are seeing more homeless children,” Owens said. “There’s a trend towards that, and that’s not just in Warren County. That’s all through the Upper Cumberland and in the Appalachians.”
Owens said the concert raises anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. She said the monthly budget for the food bank is $3,324 a month and every donation and dollar raised matters. Over the last few years, she has been over the food bank it has went from servicing 30 people a week to over a hundred.
“This is why we are doing fundraisers,” Owens said. “We have also in the past applied for grants, and I’m sure that’s coming up. Any support the community could give us, we’d greatly appreciate it.”
This is the first time the concert will not be held at the Park Theater. Owens said the move to Smooth Rapids was Greene’s call.
“It’s going to be more acoustic,” Owens said. “Something that’s kind of more laid back I think. I’m excited about it. I think that kind of atmosphere draws people in, and it should do well.”