Second Harvest Food Banks of Middle Tennessee Receive Extra Nourishment with 17,000+ Book Donation from Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation partners with Amazon to gift patrons of five Middle Tennessee Second Harvest Food Bank distribution agencies with children’s books from Scholastic, feeding bodies and minds this holiday season

Nashville, TENNESSEE – In partnership with Amazon and in collaboration with Scholastic, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) is giving the gift of reading to at-risk families in Middle Tennessee by donating more than 17,000 books to Second Harvest Food Bank agency partners. The books will be distributed in conjunction with the distribution of holiday meals at five Second Harvest Food Bank locations throughout the holiday season. The pandemic has caused an increased need for community partnerships to support children and families with increased access to essential resources:

  • 1 in 6 children in Tennessee is food insecure 
  • Third grade literacy scores are anticipated to drop by 50% across the state as a result of remote learning
  • 92,000 children have been impacted in Middle Tennessee, with 20,000 in Davidson County alone
  • 17,000+ books will be distributed in conjunction with holiday food distributions

“We believe literacy is a basic human right,” said James Pond, president of GELF. “Every child should have access to food, shelter, and an education, and literacy is a key component for ensuring strong health outcomes and educational success for children. We are grateful to Amazon and Scholastic for their generous support as we mobilize to give the gift of reading by delivering meaningful, relevant books to families and children during the holidays.” 

“The pandemic has deepened many challenges facing Tennesseans in areas like nutrition, literacy and education,” said Courtney Ross, Amazon’s Nashville Senior Manager of External Affairs. “Amazon is proud to partner with GELF, Scholastic and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to help address some of these pressing needs.”

WHO: GELF, Amazon and Scholastic are teaming up with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee 

WHAT: Donating 17,000+ books for distribution alongside meals to families with children, from birth through 12th grade, featuring high interest topics and a selection of bilingual titles

WHEN: Throughout December

WHERE: Second Harvest agency partners have been determined based on the economic status of families served, focusing on locations in Nashville and Cookeville, as well as areas impacted by the March 2020 tornadoes, including:

  • Martha O’Bryan / Southside Afterschool Program
  • Project Transformation- Trinity UMC
  • Catholic Charities / North Nashville
  • Helping Hands of Putnam County
  • Monterey Food Pantry

This initiative is a part of GELF’s “Giving Back, Moving Forward” holiday campaign to give the gift of reading for lifelong learning this holiday season.

Invest in Tennessee’s future, and help GELF give the gift of reading here.

About Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF)
The mission of Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) is to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee by acting as a thought leader, advisor and catalyst to support and sustain early literacy programs for children statewide. These programs include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Storybook Trails, Book Buses, K-3rd Grade Summer Reading and Caregiver Engagement. GELF was founded in 2004 by former Gov. Phil Bredesen as a public-private partnership to sustain Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, giving all birth to age five children the opportunity to receive books in the mail at no cost to families. GELF has grown from solely a book-gifting program to an early literacy organization driven by a vision where all Tennessee children have access to the resources, guidance and support they need to become lifelong learners. For more information, visit or, or call toll-free at (877) 99-BOOKS.

About Amazon 
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.