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

"Memphis Strong" shirts send sentiment; benefits Mid-South Food Bank

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on the Mid-South Food Bank

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — The Mid-South Food Bank is feeling the weight of the coronavirus pandemic and shirts with the message of "Memphis Strong" hopes to help.

"Memphis Strong" isn't just a sentiment for people to come together during this difficult time; It's also being put to action to give back financially to the Mid-South Food Bank.

Two local businesses, Dixie Pickers and Grind City Designs partnered up to make "Memphis Strong" t-shirts. They come in a wide variety of colors and designs and they all benefit the food bank.

"To us, Memphis Strong just means a community. One city with a lot of heart and love for that city and together, we can get over something like this. We can contribute to others and keep building," Dylan Waxler, of Dixie Pickers, said.

Each shirt that is purchased provides 24 meals to people in need. Since the pandemic, Mid-South Food Bank President & CEO, Cathy Pope, estimates its service need has grown 30%. They're anticipating that the number can grow more as the pandemic continues.

"I think we're settling in to the new normal," Pope said. "The need was great prior and we can only imagine how much the need is going to increase so we are working really hard to make sure we have the funds so we can get food in the doors."

Since the pandemic, the food bank has increased its mobile food bank pantry presence to address the need. Pope said the food bank is grateful for the initiative and all the supplemented support it has received recently.

As of Tuesday night, five days after launching, enough Memphis Strong shirts have sold to provide more than 8,600 meals.

"We hope the fundraiser inspires others to follow and it gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to the community," Waxler said.

Pope said during this time, the best way to help the food bank is through financial donations which can be done by buying a t-shirt or by directly donating to the Mid-South Food Bank.

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RELATED: Donations and volunteers needed to help Mid-South Food Bank for coronavirus response