Recording Artist Danny Gokey, Second Harvest Food Bank and UnitedHealthcare fight hunger in Middle Tennessee

May 16, 2014
  • Gokey to join UnitedHealthcare volunteers in staffing a Mobile Pantry at Sophia’s Heart Compassion Nashville
  • $100,000 donation helps fund 40 Mobile Pantries to deliver food throughout middle Tennessee

Recording artist and American Idol alum Danny Gokey and volunteers from UnitedHealthcare today will staff a Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee Mobile Pantry.

The volunteer project follows UnitedHealthcare’s recent $100,000 donation to Second Harvest that will help bring food to more than 10,000 hungry children, families and seniors by funding 40 Mobile Pantry deliveries throughout middle Tennessee. The event will take place at Sophia’s Heart Compassion Nashville, the nonprofit Gokey founded in 2008 in honor of his late wife, Sophia.

“Our mission at Sophia’s Heart is to provide hope and help to children and families who have been touched by poverty, sickness, broken homes and broken hearts,” said Gokey. “By working with UnitedHealthcare to fight hunger in middle Tennessee, we’re addressing an issue many residents of Sophia’s Hope are all too familiar with.”

Mobile Pantries deliver food directly to individuals and families in need during large-scale, one-day food distributions. Second Harvest works directly with partner agencies throughout its 46-county service area and partners with organizations like UnitedHealthcare to provide these distributions.

On average, each Mobile Pantry will supply 15,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nonperishable products, providing 250 families with groceries for a week or more. This program, often used by smaller partner agencies, such as a food pantry that does not have a lot of storage space, is one of the most effective ways for Second Harvest to provide food assistance to people at risk of hunger in rural communities.

“The demand for our services continues to increase, which makes our vision of ending hunger more important than ever,” said Jaynee Day, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. “With the generous support from UnitedHealthcare, we are able to continue our work to solve the threat of hunger in middle Tennessee.”

Since 2012, UnitedHealthcare has donated $300,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, which has enabled the nonprofit to fight hunger by distributing 1 million meals to children, families and individuals in the region.

“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to help ensure Tennesseans have access to fresh, nutritious food,” said Scott A. Bowers, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee. “We want to do all we can to help build healthier communities and eradicate hunger in middle Tennessee.”

This project is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity, inspire service and encourage volunteerism in communities where UnitedHealthcare employees live and work. For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

About Danny Gokey
A top 3 finalist on the eighth smash season of Fox’s American Idol, Danny Gokey soon entered the record books as the first-ever male American Idol contestant to sign with a major country label. An acclaimed singer and author, Gokey made an indelible first impression with 2010’s record-breaking debut album, “MY BEST DAYS” with a top 4 entrance on Billboard’s “Top 100 Albums” chart – the best opening week for a debut album from a male country artist in almost two decades.  He received an array of honors, including his home state’s WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award for “Male Vocalist of the Year” as well as an American Country Awards nomination as “New/Breakthrough Artist of the Year.” Gokey is also active on an array of other fronts, including his role as founder of Sophia’s Heart. Named in honor of his late wife, the organization’s goals are to provide hope and help to homeless families, provide scholarships to deserving students, and operate a thriving inner-city music and arts program. Opened in late 2011, the 77,000 square foot Sophia’s Heart facility in Nashville has helped rescue over 60 families from life on the street. For details, please see

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
Organized in 1978, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. Second Harvest’s mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community. Second Harvest distributes food and other products to approximately 450 nonprofit partner agencies in 46 counties in middle and west Tennessee. Our partners include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, childcare facilities, senior centers, group homes and youth enrichment programs. For more information on Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and its programs, please visit

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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