Love Kitchen lifeline is ready

‘Biggest food drive for us every year:’ Riggins on Farragut High SGA

How important is Farragut High School Student Government Association’s annual Canned Food Frive for East Knoxville’s Love Kitchen, which runs from Monday, Feb. 22, to Friday, March 5 —  a delay from its typical fall time frame thanks to COVID-19?

“The FHS Canned Food Drive is the biggest food drive for us every year,” said Patrick Riggins, Love Kitchen executive director. “The donations they collect in the fall (typically carried) us clear through the holidays and well into the next year.

“With the economic impact of COVID hitting our recipients particularly hard, the demand for our services has greatly increased,” he added.

“Whereas we were feeding one or two individuals, now we’re providing food for entire families, so not having those extra canned goods limits how much we can send home with our recipients.”

Despite the delay, “The extra time has allowed for the student government to safely plan a food drive with COVID-19 guidelines in mind,” FHS SGA president Audrey Richards said.

“Additionally, I am hopeful that having had this extra planning time will allow us to get more of the Farragut community involved in the drive,” she added. “The drive is so important, now more than ever, as rates of food insecurity rise due to COVID-19. We really hope this food drive will bring the Farragut community together and help out the Love Kitchen and those in need as much as possible.

“Farragut loves the Love Kitchen.”

“We are extremely thankful and appreciative of the FHS Student Government Association who runs the event, along with the fantastic students and their families who participate each year, for the hard work they put into the Love Kitchen Canned Food Drive,” Riggins said. “Keeping us stocked with canned goods allows us to continue the mission of (founders and sisters) Helen (Ashe) and Ellen (Turner) in ensuring that no one should ever go hungry no matter what their circumstances may be at the present time. The Love Kitchen is always here to help provide for everyone in our community.

A little different this year, Richards points out, will be the organized participation of Farragut’s three other public schools.

“We will be collecting canned food and funds for the Love Kitchen at Farragut Primary School, Farragut Intermediate School, Farragut Middle School” in addition to FHS, she said.

“I believe, at FPS and FIS, the students’ teachers will collect them in their classrooms,” she continued. “At Farragut Middle School, the students’ homeroom teachers will collect them. At FHS, students can bring cans and funds to their first block teacher at each school.

“The classroom that collects the most cans will receive a prize.”

The prize for the winning classroom will be breakfast meals from Chick-fil-A. While the FHS class prize will be covered by SGA, Farragut Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said the Town’s Education Relations Committee will cover classroom prize costs at FPS, FIS and FMS.

Richards said the Love Kitchen’s biggest needs include: regular-sized cans of corn, fruit, soup, potatoes, green peas, green beans and mixed vegetables. For dry goods, they are in need of beans, rice, boxed mac & cheese, pasta/ramen noodles and single-serve cereal. “People are welcome to write a check to Farragut High School Student Government Association and write Love Kitchen Canned Food Drive on the memo line,” she said.

SGA also has set up a Give Butter fundraiser for virtual donations at

“As of right now, we will be delivering the canned goods to the Love Kitchen on Friday, March 5 at around 2:30 p.m.,” Richards said.

Anyone wishing to donate canned goods directly to The Love Kitchen may visit 2418 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“If they would like to donate outside those times, they may call our main number, 865-546-3248, and speak with our secretary, Susan, who will be glad to work out a convenient time for them,” Riggins said.

Visit or call 865-546-3245.