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FISH Pantries' Vision
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Helping Hands




FISH Hospitality Pantries' mission is to prevent hunger in Knoxville and create true community. As a non-profit and volunteer organization, we are the largest provider
of food relief in East Tennessee. Each month, FISH serves over 7,000 families, or over 21,000 people, providing more packages of food to the hungry than all other Knoxville pantries combined. 


Our mission is twofold:

  • to ensure that all of our neighbors have
    the nutritious food needed to thrive

  • to form authentic relationships across religious traditions, ethnicities, and economic circumstances.


For us, sharing food is an opportunity to
create true community—where all are welcome, everyone is treated with respect, and the voices of the marginalized are amplified, recognized, and valued. To achieve this goal, FISH provides food to people in a way that respects their human dignity. No one has to register or prove financial need. Instead, guests simply show
up at one of our
four Knoxville neighborhood FISH pantries and select the items they’d like
to take home. 

FISH Hospitality Pantries has a history of treating everyone who comes through our doors with respect and dignity. Everything we do supports and advances our three core values:

  1. To prevent hunger and ensure adequate nutrition. The earth’s bounty is meant to be shared by everyone in the community.

  2. To be a hospitable, non-judgmental presence in the community, respecting human dignity and privacy. We welcome all who come for food as guests.

  3. To be a public model where people from different denominations, races, heritages, and economic circumstances work together to create true community based upon compassion and justice for all.


Our four neighborhood pantries embody these values by being welcoming places where body and spirit are nurtured, people are affirmed, and everyone is treated in a way that is equally, if not more, nourishing than the food they receive.

Visit any FISH Hospitality Pantry and you will witness the spirit of FISH in action. Multicultural volunteers work side-by-side for the communal good, creating true community across all the barriers that separate us. Guests arrive bearing their own unique gifts—whether good cheer, an assurance of their prayers, good news, or even the sharing of struggles that provide insight into what it means to be different and alike at the same time. 


Our inclusive, non-judgmental approach creates a model of community where people grow, learn, and enjoy spending time together rather than fearing differences.


This spirit of welcome, inclusiveness, diversity, and non-judgmental acceptance is why nearly one-third of our volunteers first come to FISH neighborhood pantries as guests and why FISH volunteers regularly say they “get more than they give” from the pantry experience. 

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