The Eastman Foundation (Eastman) recently announced it has committed $1 million toward supporting global response organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

“Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on all of us, it is important that we provide support in the communities where our employees live and work,” said Willie McLain, Eastman Foundation president.

According to Eastman, it will provide funding to organizations for food, shelter, medical personal protective equipment for frontline workers and community support. In Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the company has donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and the United Way of Greater Kingsport.

“We’re seeing families who never thought they would ever need to ask for food. Based on the trends, we could see that demand increase 30% over the summer,” said Rhonda Chafin, Second Harvest executive director. “With the help of community partners like the Eastman Foundation, we can continue to keep up with that demand to provide food to our most vulnerable neighbors.”

The United Way of Greater Kingsport is teaming with six other United Ways in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to provide a collective response to the pandemic. The United Way chapters recently announced they will allocate a portion of their COVID-19 Relief Fund to the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency’s (UETHDA) Community Services program that helps households offset housing, rental, utility payments, and other basic needs during challenging times.

“The impact of COVID-19 is pervasive in our communities,” said Danelle Glasscock, executive director at the United Way of Greater Kingsport. “By teaming together and with the support of organizations like the Eastman Foundation, we can focus our response on the most critical needs of our citizens.”

“The work of these partners is especially critical right now. We are very proud to contribute to these efforts,” McLain said.

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