Monthly Archives: July 2016


The Woman Who Works to Keep Her Community Fed

Carmen Ricker_Greeneville Community Ministry from Ashley Coffey on Vimeo.

Carmen Ricker is the director at the food bank offered by Greeneville Community Ministry in Greeneville, Tennessee where families who are without food can receive food donations. The food bank opened in 1984. Carmen started working at the Greeneville Community Ministry in 1988 where she has continued to serve her community throughout the years. Today the organization offers 9 different services to families that include financial and medical benefits for those who are not able to provide for their financial responsibilities.


Carmen has helped to expand the organization into what it is today. There are now five fulltime paid staff with forty-four volunteers. With all of the years she has spent working in the organization, she has made connections that help keep food in the warehouse and money available for those in need. Carmen organizes community outreach programs and promotes food drives to get the word out about the services provided by the ministry. She works together with community members to construct ways to better service people who cannot afford living necessities.


Carmen holds a high standard for the food that the organization distributes. She says that she makes sure that the volunteer’s look for rust on the cans (if there is rust or if the cans are damaged they are to be thrown out) and that the food is something that she would eat herself.


The Greeneville Community Ministry works together with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Feeding America. These organizations provide donated food to the ministry to distribute to community members in need of food. The local Food City also contributes by giving portions of the food that they receive to the ministry. Vegetables and fruits are donated by Rural Resources, which provides classes and information on how to prepare the produce for meals. Multiple churches throughout the community collect donations and bring them to Greeneville Community Ministry each month.


The community of Greeneville, Tennessee is working towards creating more solutions to making sure that each family does not have to go without food. Greeneville Community Ministry continues to grow and garner more avenues to receive food for families in need. Carmen Ricker is the woman with the connections and persistence to keep Greene County fed. She has the experience and expertise to distinguish how to work her way around the community to get what she knows families need in her community.


In order to make donations to Greeneville Community Ministry or contact Carmen Ricker, visit the organization’s Facebook page.






Connecting Through Social Media Provides Solutions to Hunger in Tennessee

Tennessee has an ongoing hunger crisis that is connecting people throughout the state for the purpose of finding ways to provide communities with food solutions. In East Tennessee there are farmers, volunteers, and government workers that are working hard to keep families from going hungry. Anyone who is interested in finding more information about how they can help provide food for their communities can find information about these organizations and who to contact through designated social media accounts.


Sally Causey is the executive director of Rural Resources in Greeneville, Tennessee. Causey is familiar with the ins and outs of farming. She is knowledgeable about the efforts needed in order to teach people within her community about the benefits of homegrown produce. As the director, she hosts many events that create revenue for Rural Resources so that they are able to continue to provide garden grown food to the community. These events bring the community together to share the importance of health and the happiness that farm-to-table food brings to the people who work hard to provide the produce. The awareness that Sally promotes through her work reaches people who are capable of financially supporting the efforts of Rural Resources.


Another woman who stands out in the farming community in Greeneville, Tennessee is Melissa Reboltz. Reboltz has been a farmer for 8 years and is well versed when it comes to discussing the importance of farming for her community. She hosts events at her house where her farm is located. These events include dinners made by Melissa from her home grown produce. Melissa is aware that bringing people together to show them what they can create, a sense of community, through farming generates the motivation to share successful farming with people who can help put an end to hunger in Tennessee. On Saturdays, Melissa has a booth at the Jonesborough Farmers Market where she sells what she grows in her garden.


Additionally, Greeneville County Ministries is a food pantry where families located in Greene County can go and apply to acquire food. Carmen Ricker is the director of the program, which includes housing and funding for health procedures. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is a leading provider for the organization. They provide food especially for children during the months that school is not in session. Second Harvest holds events in East Tennessee to bring awareness to families on how to prepare the produce and food that is designated to them.


Utilizing social media is an effective way to spread the word about avenues that can be taken to keep a child or a family from going without food. Connecting and communicating with farmers and people who are in these providing organizations is one step in closing the gap between hunger and a sound solution to resources for the families in Tennessee.


Using Social Media to Spread Hunger Awareness in Tennessee

The fight against hunger is an every day challenge for 1 in 6 people who live in Tennessee. Luckily, people are pulling together with the assistance of social media to help spread People are using social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram which has allowed individuals to connect with one another and share ways of collecting and distributing food to families who cannot afford to buy groceries.
Rural Resources is a company that offers children, teenagers, and adults the chance to learn how to grow and make their own food. All of the information regarding Rural Resources can be found on their Facebook page. Social media has allowed the company to expand and reach people who would otherwise not know that there is a community garden where they can learn to be self sufficient when it comes to growing their own food. With 1,764 likes and a 5 out of 5 star rating the company stands well on social media. While school is in session, students are brought out to the farm to learn about animals and how they are utilized for the land and for food while also learning about how to accurately grow vegetables and fruits. For those who are interested in learning more during the summer people can take classes and be taught by the staff at Rural Resources how to maintain a garden and make the most out of the produce.


Melissa Reboltz is a farmer in Greeneville, Tennessee who uses social media as a way to broadcast her efforts as a farmer. Reboltz has created a following of 9,106 on her Instagram account where she posts pictures of her daily life on her farm along with honest captions. Facebook has given Reboltz a platform to be able to share with the people in her community about dinners that she hosts at her farm. There are 463 people who follow her Facebook page, which has been given a 5 star rating. Her posts are articles that she has written that can be found at her Eating Greeneville website. Melissa’s efforts to feed her community and teach them about producing their own food gives people tools to help them feed their families. She offers recipes and classes to go along with the produce that she grows from her own gardens. Empowering the people in her community to take their health and wellbeing into their own hands gives them the power to create a healthier future for their children.


The infographic below demonstrates key concepts in building a community on social media.


Infographic created by Ashley Coffey via