Local 24 Cares Gearing Up For Thanksgiving Food Drive

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Hunger in the Mid-South is a year-round problem, but it can seem even worse during the holidays.

That's one reason why Local 24 Cares is holding a Thanksgiving food drive with the Mid-South Food Bank on Thursday, November 9th.

In the Mid-South, there are more than 400,000 people that are considered food insecure. That means they can't find enough food on a daily basis to keep hunger at bay. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Mid-South Food Bank wants to provide more than just food, but also a little bit of hope.

"We want to reach out to those people and not just give them an ordinary meal, but make sure they have all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal that we all want to cherish and enjoy as a community," says Andrew Bell, communications manager for the Mid-South Food Bank.

Thanksgiving is a big time of year for the Mid-South Food Bank. That's because the need for food is higher than normal.

"This is a time of year where a lot more people are having trouble paying bills because of higher utility costs. Their kids are out of school. So it puts a bigger strain on them in general," Bell says.

That's where you can help with the Local 24 Cares Thanksgiving Food Drive. As far as what you can donate, nothing is too small.

"We want [people] to donate food that they would eat at their Thanksgiving meal," says Bell. "All the fruits and vegetables and a turkey, if they can."

Currently, canned fruits and vegetables and meats are the items in highest demand at the food bank. You'll also be able to donate money by phone during the food drive, which according to the Mid-South Food Bank, actually has a bigger impact thanks to their ability to buy food in bulk.

"If you donate $5 to the Mid-South Food Bank, all of it goes towards purchasing meals. That $5 would generate 15 meals," says Bell.

No matter how you help, you'll be putting smiles on the faces of families all over the Mid-South this holiday season. But how does these donations make it to people in need?

It's the work of hundreds of partner agencies across the Mid-South help to turn hunger into hope on a daily basis.

"The Mid-South Food Bank would just be a warehouse full of food if we didn't have the partner agencies," Bell says. "They are the partners on the ground that see the people one on one. They know the needs of their particular zip code and neighborhood."

Think of the Mid-South Food Bank as a coordinator of sorts. Whenever it receives a food donation, it's organized and made available to one of 275 partner agencies across the Mid-South. Whether it's a church, food pantry, or soup kitchen, these groups are the ones that help ease the increased strain of holiday hunger. The same applies for everything collected during the Local 24 Cares Thanksgiving Food Drive. It's these partner agencies that will turn these donations in Thanksgiving meals. And if you're in need of help, all you have to do is ask.

"The way these individuals can get help is they can reach out to the Mid-South Food Bank and we will direct them to the closest agency in their neighborhood or zip code," says Bell.

The food drive will be on Thursday, November 9th. You can donate while you shop at either the Kroger on 540 S. Mendenhall or the WalMart on 577 N Germantown Parkway. Donations by phone will be from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. that Thursday. You can also donate HERE.

Help Local 24 make Thanksgiving a great one for families across the Mid-South.


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