MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13′S Family Focus and Kroger kick off this year’s Spring Food Drive 2021. All donations will benefit the Midsouth Food Bank. The food bank can take one dollar and turn it into three healthy meals for families.
Since the pandemic, the food bank is serving almost half a million people facing food insecurity in our community. Currently, the food bank supplies 31 counties in West Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas, providing food to local agencies and food distribution sites. The food bank has gone from handing out a million pounds of food per month to three million. The need is great after the and continues to grow.
From April 11 through April 17, you can donate to any Mid-South Kroger grocery store. You can also round up your bill when checking out. All proceeds benefit the food bank.
Last year, individual donors made up more than 62% of all the monetary gifts to the food bank. Your support means wholesome food will put on the table for thousands of families, children, and senior citizens in need.
Mid-South Krogers donated over a billion pounds of produce and meat to the Food Bank during 2020, according to Teresa Dickerson, public affairs manager for Kroger’s Delta Division.
Kroger stores across the area have donation boxes in-store. You can shop for non-perishable food items and simply drop them in the box before you leave.
Last month alone, the Midsouth Food Bank distributed more than five million pounds of food to people in need in our area.
The Midsouth Food Bank warehouse is the size of three football fields. During one month they distribute more than 5 million pounds.
That number skyrocketed once the pandemic started.
“A lot of people that have never needed help at a food bank found themselves in line getting food, so yes it really has highlighted a problem that we’ve always had,” said Cathy Pope with the Midsouth Food Bank. “So we are thankful for people now kind of seeing it and knowing it, but the need is really great in our community.”
The pandemic also spotlighted another issue for school-aged kids: no school meant no food.
“If you’re not in school, and you don’t have access to free and reduced breakfast and lunch that is a problem. Fortunately, the food bank already had a relationship with the YMCA, so when the pandemic hit we partnered with them while they were providing that single meal through the USDA program. It’s called CACFP,” said Pope.
The food bank is partnering with Kroger, along with local farmers, to provide healthy, nutritious food, fruits, and vegetables.
“We are able to donate fresh fruit and produce to the food bank every day,” said Teresa Dickerson with Kroger. “So the food bank keeps up with different stores throughout the city every day and donated those items to local agencies and they can give it to families in need.”
Don’t forget money is always needed.
“We can really make your dollar stretch,” Pope said. “So for every ten dollars, we are able to provide 30 meals because we are getting food from various resources. USDA is a great partner. Tennessee Emergency Management has been fantastic through this pandemic.”
The warehouse is busy and things are constantly running because the need is so great. There is an 18-day turnaround once the food comes in, meaning if someone is hungry folks here can make sure the food gets to them quickly.
Don’t forget, if you’re at a Kroger in our community at the check out you can also ask them to round up at the register. That way any extra money goes to the Midsouth Food Bank.