MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Preparations are underway for the first Memfeast at Memphis City Hall. The annual Thanksgiving tradition was going to be canceled by a non-profit that usually holds it, but an outpouring of support led to the city reviving the event under a new name.
Local churches and businesses stepped in to make sure the tradition continued.
Up to 1,000 people are expected to be served. The meal is for the homeless and the needy.
The turkeys are on the smoker and in the fryer at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. It is just one of three churches cooking food for Thanksgiving dinner at Memphis City Hall.
“A lot of Memphian’s came together and donated money, a lot of companies stepped up. So Bellevue Baptist is cooking some of the side items and Mt. Vernon Westwood is cooking some of the side items, and my church Mississippi Boulevard is cooking some things as well,” said Brian Harris, organizer.
The event is being held at city hall because the former location at the convention center is under renovation. In previous years, the food would be cooked at the convention center, but this year, it is being cooked at area churches and will be loaded into hot boxes and driven downtown in city vans.
In addition to food, care packages filled with things like socks and blankets will be handed out to those in need.
Organizers say thanks to support from across the city, along with quick thinking and creativity, they’ve been able to pull such a large event together in a matter of weeks.
“I’m happy, I’m happy we were able to pull this together, ” said Allison Fouche, Memphis City Spokesperson.
“I think it’s a story the nation needs to hear. How in Memphis we don’t just talk a good game, we always respond to it in action,” said pastor J. Lawrence Turner.
“To see this this city come together in times of adversity – when someone drops the ball, others will pick it up and run with it and make sure that something people treasure is not lost. And it just shows the goodness of the hearts of all Memphians,” said Harris.