Last week we discussed the Memphis Crisis Center. With September being Hunger Action Month, this week let us turn the spotlight on Mid-South Food Bank.
Mid-South Food Bank is an independent, nondenominational nonprofit that was founded in 1981 with the mission of fighting hunger through the efficient collection and distribution of wholesome food, and through education and advocacy. Their programs impact 220,000 individuals in 31 counties in west Tennessee, north Mississippi, and east Arkansas. More than one-third are children and 11 percent are seniors. All of them need food to meet basic nutrition needs, in order to lead healthy, productive lives.
Mid-South Food Bank has four primary hunger fighting programs: Hunger’s Hope, Feeding Children, Mobile Pantry, and Disaster Relief. Hunger’s Hope distributes food and groceries through a network of more than 200 agencies with 332 feeding programs. These include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth and senior programs, rehabilitation and residential centers. Last year, these agencies distributed 13 million pounds of food – the equivalent of 10.4 million meals.
Feeding Children addresses the nutritional needs of approximately 1,500 children every week. Last year, for example, 432,000 backpack meals were enjoyed by children who might not have had a nutritious meal to eat otherwise. Mobile Pantry provides truckloads of food for distribution in 20 rural and underserved counties and also provides fresh produce to youth and seniors, who live in inner city food deserts. Disaster Relief is offered as a first response to supply emergency shelters with food when disaster strikes.
Help Mid-South Food Bank by coordinating or participating in a food drive with family, friends, or co-workers. Most needed items include canned meats, soups, peanut butter, canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned fruit juice, and any non-perishable items (no glass containers). They have four food collection sites and a brochure online that provides all the details necessary to facilitate your own food drive.
Financial contributions are powerful, as every dollar donated translates to three meals, due to their partnerships and bulk purchasing power. Take a tour of their facility or consider volunteering. Learn more by visiting www.midsouthfoodbank.org.