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Community Resources

East Tennessee Food Banks
We do our best to provide resources to help meet the work and life needs of our faculty, staff, and students. Food insecurity is a concern that has come to our attention. We realize that a number of people will suffer in silence rather than risk what they perceive as an embarrassing situation. To discreetly meet food insecurity needs, we have compiled a list of food banks and other food resources in the East Tennessee region as well as an interactive map of East Tennessee Food Banks that is easy to find a bank close to you. We hope that you find this resource helpful.

Employee Wellness Solutions (Optum), or 855-437-3486
The employee assistance program (EWS) offers a wealth of resources. EWS is designed to provide free, confidential assistance to help employees and their families resolve problems that influence their personal lives or job performance. The program is available to all benefits-eligible UT employees and their spouses and dependent children. There is a wide variety of services available through EWS, including providing information about local resources for help with food and rent assistance. EWS also provides free short-term counseling (up to 5 free sessions per year), financial counseling, and brief legal advice for regular employees scheduled to work at least 75 percent (30 hours per week) time. More information about EWS can be found on the HR website EWS page. There is a live chat feature on the website.

The Big Orange Pantry
The Big Orange Pantry is a good campus resource for food and hygiene products. This may be helpful during financial challenges or amidst a move. The Big Orange Pantry provides emergency food assistance where a variety of perishable/non-perishable items, snacks, and hygiene products are available. The pantry is located in Student Union 376C (in the hallway across from the Dean of Students office) and are open Monday through Friday 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tennessee Statewide 2-1-1
The Tennessee statewide 2-1-1 website maintains a searchable list of food pantries is a good one stop website for a searchable variety of resources including food assistance and food pantries, housing assistance, medical services, and more.

The Office of Sustainability’s Free Store
The Office of Sustainability’s Free Store is a cost-free option for gently used clothing and household items. The Free Store is UT, Knoxville’s sustainable thrifting initiative that give away gently used items at no cost and with no questions asked. They are located at 915 22nd St., the “22nd St Duplex,” and are open Monday through Friday. Store hours change each semester, so be sure to check their website for the most up to date open hours.