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Fentress Food Bank Needs More Parking; Trying To Fix Long-Term Issue

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fentress Food Bank Needs More Parking; Trying To Fix Long-Term Issue

Parking has become an issue at the Fentress County Food Bank as overflow is disrupting traffic in nearby areas.

Food Bank Director Rob Pearce said the gravel parking lot is too small to support clients, volunteers and their monthly delivery truck. He said when volunteers, clients and the delivery truck are there at the same time, cars begin to park in surrounding areas. He said the solution would be to expand the parking lot into a wooded property behind the food bank.

“So that we do not have the traffic jams and the people parking on the highway, parking at the dump,” Pearce said. “The people at the convenient center came by the other day and said that if people keep parking there and blocking so their trucks can’t come and go, they’re going to be forced to have these cars towed.”

Pearce said parking has been a problem at the food bank for years. The County Commission voted to allocate $2,000 in ARP funds to help with the issue during its November meeting.

“The solution will be when and if the county can expand our parking lot into the woods behind us, but that’s going to take some tree removal and some fill work and some serious bulldozing work,” Pearce said. “Gravel is always a bonus. We can always use gravel, but our real solution will be if we can expand the parking lot.”

Pearce said on busy days the food bank can have anywhere from 50 to 75 cars crammed in the parking lot. Pearce said he is waiting on county officials to resolve the issue.

“Well, the Road Supervisor Ryan Reed came by about a month ago and asked me if that would be satisfactory with us, and I told him, of course, we’d be thrilled if they could expand, but he had to get with the County Executive Jimmy Johnson to find out exactly where the property lines are and all the potential legalities that go with that line of work,” Pearce said. “So, we’re hopeful, but it’ll happen when it happens.”

Pearce said the Fentress County Food Bank could always use volunteers and donations.

“Right now we’re pretty low on food at the end of the month, but we could always use contributions toward money,” Pearce said. “If somebody want’s to volunteer to help just be there at Tuesday morning at 8:30 and we will put you to work.”


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