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After storm, hundreds in Frayser get groceries

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The power might be back for many in Memphis, but rebuilding after the Tom Lee storm will take awhile.

The Mid-South Food Bank helped families in Frayser Thursday restock their pantries.

Frayser was one of the hardest-hit areas by the storm. Food bank leaders expected to help at least 500 families.

As trucks carrying hundreds of pounds of food opened their doors Thursday afternoon, dozens of people were lined up at the Ed Rice Community Center.

The giveaway wasn't supposed to start until 2 p.m., but at 1:20 p.m. there was already a long line of people waiting to get food.

"We had a tree fall on our house, so when a tree fell on our house we had to go stay with someone else," said Donna West, who was standing in line.

Many of the people standing in line today have stories similar to West; if their homes weren’t damaged, their refrigerators are bare after days with no power.

West was waiting with her five children ages 2 to 9.

"We’re just doing the best we can," she explained.

The Mid-South Food Bank is always giving out food to those in need, but this is the third food handout targeting storm victims this week. Earlier there were giveaways in Whitehaven and Wednesday in Orange Mound.

Lakeisha Edwards is the director of programs of the Mid-South Food Bank.

"Yesterday we were expecting a larger crowd, we prepared for a larger crowd. But this is also a walkable neighborhood. It's gonna make a big difference that individuals walk up. We’re gonna do a drive-through in cars, but we’re also going to pack boxes for individuals who don’t have vehicles," explained Edwards.

On Thursday people received food like bananas, chips, cereal, juice and other nonperishable items, items West and her children are grateful for as they get back on their feet.

"Really thankful. Because like I said the food went out and then I have five and they have to eat, so yeah it’s a lot of help. It’s a real lot of help," she said.

Another food giveaway is planned for Friday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Breath of Life Christian Center at 3795 Frayser-Raleigh Road in Raleigh. You’re asked to bring a government ID and MLGW bill to show you live in the zip code.