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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

YMCA steps up to provide planned lunch meals after brief suspension of the program

SCS expects 15,000 meals will be given daily starting Monday during the weeks long district shutdown because of the Coronavirus

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thanks to the response from the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South, the Shelby County Schools meal distribution plan will go on as planned starting Monday.

Sunday afternoon, the The YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South announced it would be the new provider for meals for SCS students for more than 60 sites across SCS this week.

“The Memphis community is strong,” SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said. "Thank you to everyone for coming together in this time of need at Shelby County Schools. Our goal to eliminate hunger for children during this public health crisis has been met with a tremendous response from the community which is affirmation that WE ARE 901.“

"As a community-based partner, we are thankful for the opportunity to do our part and respond to Dr. Ray’s call to help serve the immediate needs of our community, especially our children," Jerry Martin, President and CEO of the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South, said. "We truly are grateful to collaborate with our partners at SCS to help feed our children.”

This past Friday, Local 24 News reported the meal distribution plan was suspended after the confirmation from the Shelby County Health Department that a SCS Nutrition Services worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Those with SCS said the worker did not prepare any of the meals but did work in the same building as the meal prep, so the district threw out the meals out of an abundance of caution.

The City of Memphis is also offering support with staffing and transportation of meals to sites.

The Mid-South Food Bank is also offering food to families during the school closure at their mobile pantries around the city of Memphis and Shelby County. 

“We are honored to support our partners at SCS,” said Cathy Pope, Mid-South Food Bank President and CEO. “Our mobile food pantries will be going into the neighborhoods and distributing food, enough for 200 to 400 households at each location.”

For a link of how you can volunteer with the Mid-South Food Bank: 


SCS student learning guides are available online. Families who do not have internet access may visit any meal distribution site every Monday and Tuesday while schools are closed, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., to pick up printed student learning guides.

The meals are available M-F while schools are closed (through April 3) and the child must be present to receive a meal.

For a list of where SCS students can be provided the daily meals and the learning guides: