NASHVILLE, TN — Did you know that 1 in 5 Nashvillians live in poverty?  In partnership with Martha O’Bryan Center, East Nashville businesses are raising awareness, collecting supplies and donating funds throughout January to combat this statistic and defeat poverty in their neighborhood.  

Now in its third year locally, Poverty Awareness Month’s presenting sponsor in 2019 is RE/MAX Choice Properties. A national campaign, Martha O’Bryan Center first brought Poverty Awareness Month to Nashville in January, 2017 with the help of 10 East Nashville businesses.  In 2019, 25 East Nashville businesses will participate in an exciting number of ways.

The Poverty Awareness Month calendar, which is posted in participating businesses and online at, lets community members see where they can bring their business to support the educational and social service programs serving families at Martha O’Bryan Center.

Poverty Awareness Month kicks off January 2nd at Hot Yoga East Nashville, who will donate all proceeds from their weekly free class, a practice at the studio that took place all of last year and continues into 2019.

“Poverty Awareness Month provides a great opportunity for our neighbors to be deliberate with their consumer dollars”, said Peter Martino, Chief Development Officer at Martha O’Bryan Center.  “It is also a chance to consider both the reality of poverty in our city and the real solutions we have for defeating poverty in our neighborhoods.”  

Participating businesses will also coordinate with Martha O’Bryan Center to share over social media poverty facts and poverty solutions that are relevant to our local community, including ways that neighbors can volunteer their time in the Center’s cradle-to-career family services.

Danielle Deak, co-owner of Follow Me Cheese, which began purveying fine cheeses in the Shops on Fatherland in 2017, was the first business to sign on this year. “We are excited to be part of a community like East Nashville that is passionate about small businesses and also defeating poverty,” said Deak.  “Martha O’Bryan is doing great work empowering families in our city.  Poverty Awareness Month is a way for Follow Me Cheese to be part of that.”  Follow Me Cheese will donate fifty percent of their proceeds on Tuesday, January 15th.

Additional East Nashville businesses donating part of their revenue to Martha O’Bryan Center in January include Galena Garlic Company, Italia Pizza & Pasta, I Dream of Weenie, Two Ten Jack, The Bookshop, Mitchell Delicatessen, Wax Nashville, Rudie’s Seafood & Sausage, Mutts & Meows, Dino’s, NancyBGoods, The Wild Cow and Harlan Ruby / Vroom Vroom Balloon.  

In addition, local businesses Asphalt Beach, Calypso Café, Grimey’s, The Groove, Salon Mogulz, Cumberland Hardware, Nashville Sweets, Look East and Art & Invention Gallery are conducting supply drives with their customers and staffs to help Martha O’Bryan Center stock its food banks and neighbor welcome baskets with supplemental food and family hygiene items.

For more information about Poverty Awareness month, businesses and residents can contact Peter Martino at Martha O’Bryan Center: 

Martha O’Bryan Center is an anti-poverty non-profit organization with longstanding history and deep community roots, grounded in tradition and strengthened by innovation.  Founded in 1894 when Miss O’Bryan organized the Gleaners Society at First Presbyterian Church to support impoverished North Nashville residents, Martha O’Bryan Center has operated from the heart of Cayce Place – Nashville’s largest public housing community – since 1948.  This is where we continue in service, partnering with Cayce Place families to open doors of hope and possibility, create a culture of attainment, and positively shape future generations.  Martha O’Bryan Center serves 10,000 people annually with its programs in early learning, parent empowerment, youth development, adult education, crisis counseling and public charter schools East End Prep and Explore! Community School.

Launched in 2007 by PovertyUSA, Poverty Awareness Month is an initiative of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). PovertyUSA seeks to educate and promote understanding about poverty and its root causes. Poverty Awareness Month is a national awareness campaign that emphasizes the growing number of poor Americans, according to the most recent U.S. Census figures, and urges Americans to respond with a patriotic sense of justice to the plight of poor and low-income people. More than 46 million Americans live in poverty in the USA.  

To learn more about PovertyUSA online at: