350 pounds per person. That’s how much food the Metro Arts Commission donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. All part of the annual “food fight” between workers for the state and the City of Nashville, to see who can haul in more to feed needy families.
Like last year, the friendly competition brought in around a hundred thousand meals for hungry people. And like last year, Metro won. But one thing stuck out: the massive haul from the Arts Commission. It made me picture the stewards of the city’s art, each laboring to haul in double their own weight in canned goods, boxes of rice and so on.
So when the defeated Governor Bill Haslam stood in front of a two-story mountain of donated food, I put the question to him.
REPORTER: “Three hundred fifty pounds a person. Was there a fix?”
GOV. HASLAM: (Laughs) “I don’t think so. In the end, obviously it’s just about folks that are really trying, and I think they had increased numbers and we did as well. In the end, Second Harvest wins.”
Still though, 350 pounds a person. How did they do it?
Turns out, it was all virtual. It wasn’t so much arts commissioners lugging in armloads of canned goods, as them clicking the “donate” button on Second Harvest’s website. An unconventional tactic? Perhaps. But effective.