tony gonzalez journalist
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Online portfolio and blog by Tony Gonzalez, family issues reporter for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. I married my high school sweetheart, Katie, a designer and bookbinder. I like juggling, maps, baseball, and bullmastiffs.

Two years at The Tennessean, July 2011 to present. Three years reporting and editing at The News Virginian, 2008 to 2011. Editor of college and high school newspapers. Internships at The Star Tribune, The Detroit News, and The Toledo Free Press. Chips Quinn Scholar 2007.

Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors 2012 statewide Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, as well as the Freedom of Information award, for Department of Children's Services project.

Gannett company-wide award 2012 for Watchdog Journalism

Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 International Perspective First Place for "The Borders Within," as well as Public Service Honorable Mention for investigation into troubled children's psychiatric hospital

2009 and 2010 winner, with staff, of the Virginia Press Association's highest award: the Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service.

Virginia Press Association 2008, 2009, and 2010 awards for crime, investigative, breaking news, and feature writing

2011 Robert Novak Fellow

Michigan Collegiate Press Association "Journalist of the Year" 2008

Chips Quinn Scholar, Class of 2007

Civil Rights Project DCS project
Borders Within Multimedia
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Little Pantry provides more than food
The Little Pantry That Could

By Tony Gonzalez
The Tennesssean

Hunger and necessity bring most people to The Little Pantry That Could — for the first time, at least. 

But it's not just the free food that draws them back. Many come to just while away the better part of a day without picking up any food at all.

That's because food pantry founder Stacy Downey and her crew dole out something more than canned beans and sweet potatoes each Saturday from their church cellar, tucked into an alleyway off Charlotte Avenue.

There's eye contact, for one. And hugs — also free. And everyone gets along on a first name basis. Downey says these are the essentials to creating a food pantry where no one feels shame when they show up for help. These are the little courtesies that some of the regulars — especially those who live on the streets — can't easily find anywhere else.

"I heard horror stories," Downey said. "People said, 'Oh I was a kid, I had to go to this food pantry. I was so embarrassed. It was terrible.' "

Read the full story at

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