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SCS continues meal distribution but needs more hands to help and more families to take advantage

“Shelby County Schools is still open. We’re still providing bulk meal distributions every Thursday and Friday,” said Genard Phillips, SCS Chief of Business Operation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Since the start of the pandemic, Shelby County School District has been distributing meals to families. It happens each week. 

Local 24 News Reporter, Brittani Moncrease, spoke with the district about getting more families to take advantage of the service and about hiring more employees to help. 

The offer is still there. 

“Shelby County Schools is still open. We’re still providing bulk meal distributions every Thursday and Friday,” said Genard Phillips, SCS Chief of Business Operations.  

The response has gone down. 

Since day one of the pandemic, Shelby County Schools went into brainstorm mode trying to figure out how to meet the nutritional needs of the community. They executed a plan to pass out meals to families each week.

“It is in bulk, so we’re serving five to seven meals per day based on the number of folks in the household,” said Phillips. 

The meal distributions take place at all school locations as well. However, the district has more supply than the demand.   

“We started off with very good participation initially. Since then over the weeks, I don’t know if families have their needs have been diminished which I would doubt that is the case. It may just be a situation where families have taken advantage of some of the other opportunities to provide meals to their families,” said Phillips.

That is why SCS is reminding families that they are still here to help. 

“Even though children are learning virtually, they’re in homes or their in other establishments to get that instruction, they can’t concentrate without having a nutritious meal. No one can function properly on an empty stomach,” said Phillips.

The district is even looking to hire more employees.  

“Normal routine staffing that we’re trying to bring back in. We’ve had some attrition of staffing over the pandemic period, so we certainly are bringing folks back in to hire to support the bulk meal distribution, but as well as to support in-person instruction when we return back to school,” said Phillips.

The district also announced that they are delaying their gradual reopening and return no earlier than February 8th. 

In the meantime, they are working to add supper and snacks to their meal distribution efforts.