Archive for Lead Story Archive

Sandy Webb Honored

MCCM’s Sandy Webb, who manages and directs the MCCM food inventory was recently honored by WDEF News 12 and Integrity Chevrolet, as the December 2017 Honoree of their “Do the Right Thing” feature. Each month, WDEF and Integrity honor someone in the Chattanooga Area” that always goes above and beyond, who always does the right thing”.

Sandy Honored

Sandy Webb and Glen Boren, who largely operate behind the scenes, pickup food from food drives anywhere in the county and food orders from local grocery stores. They unload the trucks, stock the shelves, and maintain the inventory.

Whenever MCCM has a special event Sandy will usually be found helping out as well.

Sandy is a Master Sergeant (Retired) in the U. S. Army. When she is not working hard for MCCM Sandy will be found volunteering for the VFW and the American Legion. In addition, she looks after her Mother-in-Law, “Nonie” Webb, whom she affectionately calls “Mom”.

Thank you Sandy for all you do for MCCM and the people of Marion County.

The video clip of the presentation of $500.00 can be seen on the WDEF website by clicking HERE and scrolling down to the bottom.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

As you celebrate Thanksgiving, our annual national celebration of Food and Football, and as you remember the things for which you are Thankful, please know how much we are thankful for this community of folks in Marion County who support this ministry through their generosity of time, talent and treasure, and we are thankful for our tireless Volunteers who make this ministry happen.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

SVEC Hunger Heroes

On Thursday, October 5, 2017, the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) spent the day at MCCM painting the interior and beautifying the exterior. This amazing group of Hunger Heroes, led by Vice-President Shelby Potterfield and CEO and President, Mike Partin arrived early in the morning armed with string trimmers, paint rollers, chainsaws, paint brushes, paint, cleaning supplies and the group of folks ready for a day of hard work.

SVEC, as part of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Day of Service, spent the day at food banks in Grundy and Sequatchie Counties. Later this month SVEC will send a team to Bledsoe County for a Day-of-Service there as well.

Why food banks? “We have a mission to improve everyday life in the communities we serve, and that mission goes far beyond simply keeping the lights on,” says Mike Partin, president/CEO of SVEC. “Our area food banks are an asset to our community, and we are proud to partner with them.”

All this and they keep the lights on too!

Mission Accomplished, Mike.










Thank you SVEC! We love you!

Back to School and Hungry Kids

As school begins approximately 1 in 6 kids in America face food insecurity.Hungry Kids in America

But, in Marion County, TN the number of hungry kids approaches 25%.

Hungry Kids in America

You can help!

Marion County Community Ministries is a 501 (c)(3) Corporation.

All or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
Please check with your tax adviser.

Contributions may be mailed also to:

PO Box 681
Sequatchie, TN 37374-0681


Community Anti-Litter Grant

Thanks to Judy Blevins, one of our faithful volunteers, MCCM recently received a “Community Anti-Litter Grant” provided by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.

The proceeds of the grant are to be used to purchase a combination ashtray and trash receptacle to be placed at the entrance of the MCCM building.

George Jackson, our Treasurer, purchased the device and installed it in the proper location at the bottom of the entry ramp.

We need someone who will check on it periodically to empty the trash and, using the scoop provided, remove the cigarette butts from the ashtray.

Please let us know if you can take on this task by sending an email to


Volunteer Team Needed

Our facility in Sequatchie needs a regular, thorough cleaning.

Currently, as time permits, our fantastic volunteers, unasked, do a great job keeping the floors swept, the carpets vacuumed and the bathroom cleaned.

Most days that we are open to serve clients we are so busy that we simply do not have time to clean thoroughly.

We are in need of one or more volunteers to form and to chair a Building Maintenance Committee which will coordinate1 the regular2 deep cleaning of MCCM.

The actual cleaning of the facility can be done by:

  • Church youth groups
  • Sunday school classes
  • Various other church groups
  • Service Clubs
  • etc.

You are limited only by your imagination!

If you are interested in forming this vitally needed committee for MCCM, please click HERE or send an email to:

1 Finding and scheduling groups to do the actual cleaning.
2 To be defined by the coordinator.

Walker Retires

Long time faithful volunteer and one of the main developers of the Good Neighbors Program, Mary Jo Walker, has decided to retire. Mary Jo volunteered for many years at Metropolitan Ministries (Met-Min) in Chattanooga before coming to us at MCCM.

In 2008, when we decided to attempt to create the Good Neighbors Program at MCCM, we wanted to model it on the best practices of Met-Min and the Good Neighbors Program in Maryville, TN.  We met initially with Rebecca Whelchel, the Executive Director at Met-Min, and the Rev. Lou Garcia, who began the programs of Met-Min and with Elizabeth Kabalka from Good Neighbors in Maryville.

When we learned that Mary Jo, a member at Christ Church Episcopal in South Pittsburg, volunteered at Met-Min, we asked Becky and Lou if we could “borrow” her for a while in order to ensure a smooth start to Good Neighbors.

For the last nine years, nearly every Tuesday, Mary Jo was in her office greeting, counseling, and being the face and hands and heart of Jesus Christ to our neighbors who need help.

Thank you hardly seems sufficient to express what you have meant to me and to all of us at MCCM and to our clients.

Mary Jo, we love you and we will miss you greatly. We hope you will drop in and check on us from time-to-time to see how we are doing.

Breaking News – Philly Friends

We have just learned that the Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia has paid another visit to Whitwell Middle School.

On this trip to Whitwell from Philadelphia the wonderful folks took the Middle Schoolers shopping at Sav-A-Lot to buy food for the foodbank.

Details will be in the June Newsletter.

Stay tuned.

Hunger in America

Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics [xiv]

Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same. Poverty in the United States is only one of many factors associated with food insecurity. In fact, higher unemployment, lower household assets, and certain demographic characteristics also lead to a lack of access to adequate, nutritious food. Read on for national hunger and poverty facts and statistics, or visit Map the Meal Gap for state-specific information.

Poverty Statistics in the United States[i]

In 2015:

  • 43.1 million people (13.5 percent) were in poverty.
  • 24.4 million (12.4 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
  • 14.5 million (19.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • 4.2 million (8.8 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.
  • The overall poverty rate according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure is 14.3 percent, significantly higher than the official poverty rate of 13.5 percent.[ii]
  • Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, there are 45.7 million people living in poverty, 2.6 million more than are represented by the official poverty measure (43.1 million).[iii]

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security[iv]

In 2015:

  • 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
  • 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure.
  • 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.
  • Households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 17 percent compared to 11 percent.
  • Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (17%), especially households with children headed by single women (30%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (22%) and Hispanic households (19%).

In 2014:

  • In 2014, 5.4million seniors (over age 60), or 9 percent of all seniors were food insecure.[v]
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 4 percent in Loudoun County, VA to a high of 38 percent in Jefferson County, MS.[vi]

Twelve states exhibited statistically significantly higher household food-insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2013-2015 (13.7%)[vii]:

  1. Mississippi 20.8 %
  2. Arkansas 19.2 %
  3. Louisiana 18.4 %
  4. Alabama 17.6 %
  5. Kentucky 17.6 %
  6. Ohio 16.1 %
  7. Oregon 16.1 %
  8. North Carolina 15.9 %
  9. Maine 15.8 %
  10. Oklahoma 15.5 %
  11. Texas 15.4 %
  12. Tennessee 15.1 %

[i] Proctor, B.D., J.L. Semega, & M.A. Kollar. (2016). Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015. U.S. Census Bureau.

[ii] Renwick, T. & L. Fox (2016). The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2015. U.S. Census Bureau.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Coleman-Jensen, A., Rabbitt, M. P., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2016). Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. USDA ERS.

[v] Ziliak, J.P. & Gundersen, C. (2016.) The State of Senior Hunger in America 2014: An Annual Report, Supplement. National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH).

[vi] Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, A. Satoh, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. Map the Meal Gap 2016: Food Insecurity and Child Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level. Feeding America, 2016.

[vii] Coleman-Jensen, A., Rabbitt, M. P., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2016). Household Food Security in the United States in 2015. USDA ERS.

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Feeding America, Hunger in America 2014, National Report. August 2014.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2015


A “Mitzvot” from Pennsylvania!

“Pennsylvania synagogue delivers cereal to Whitwell Middle School” is the title of an article by Kathie Tierney in the February 1 edition of the Sequatchie Valley Independent.

Student ‘WMS Cereal Brigade’ Loading MCCM Truck

The Har Zion Temple is located in Pennsylvania about 10 miles from Philadelphia and about 772 miles from Whitwell Middle School. Norman Einhorn, co-principal of the Har Zion Temple high school, and Rabbi Shawn SimonHazani drove all night to bring a van load, 569 boxes of cereal, to WMS.

As most of our volunteers know, we have a cereal shortage at the Food Bank and the students at WMS wanted to do something about it. Har Zion Temple, has a long term relationship with WMS because of the Children’s Holocaust Memorial and the Paper Clips Project started by WMS in 1998 when Linda Hooper was the WMS Principal. When Har Zion heard of the student’s project they decided to help. An anonymous member of the congregation also pledged $5.00 for each box of cereal collected during a specified period during the project. As a result, Har Zion also presented the food bank with a check for $2,100.

In the Jewish tradition a mitzvot derives from the Law, mitzvah, found in the Hebrew Scriptures and refers to an obligation under the law and is generally applied to any good deed.

A more detailed description of the event can be found in Kathie Tierney’s article.

Principal Einhorn, Rabbi SimonHazani, thank you for your blessed mitzvot.