Shelia Johnson

Our nominee, Shelia Johnson, has worked tirelessly to help promote Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennesee programs that serve children in rural Northeast Tennessee. Shelia started at the Food Bank as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) receiving a small stipend for her service. She served as a VISTA at the Food Bank for a total of four years. Her VISTA term expired in September, 2007. At that time we offered her a full-time job but she preferred to continue to serve the food bank volunteering over 24 hours per week coordinating our Food for Kids backpack program. The Food for Kids program provides healthy snacks and easily prepared meal items for children in need to take home from school twice a month so they can have healthy food to eat after school and on weekends when they may have little or no food at home. Shelia knew that many children needed this program based on the fact that over 50% of children in our region are on their school’s free and reduced lunch programs. Shelia worked tirelessly to build the program, placing orders for food, pulling orders in the warehouse, delivering orders and working with volunteers. Through Shelia’s work the Food for Kids program grew from serving 400 children in 2005 to over 1,400 children during 2007. Shelia was a single parent who lived on limited resources while raising two successful sons. She retires from her service to the Food Bank on May 30. Shelia leaves behind a strong program that is providing food for needy children in Northeast Tennessee. The program will continue for the next school year due to Shelia’s tireless efforts and the groundwork that was put into place through her volunteer service and commitment to Second Harvest Food Bank and the children in need in Northeast Tennessee. Shelia is our "Hunger Hero"!