MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The boxes are filling up and rolling out as MemFeast begins at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Midtown, but this year’s Thanksgiving food drive looks a bit different.
Monday was day one of this year’s MemFeast food distribution project at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church on North Bellevue Boulevard.
“There’s no reason why in a nation that has access to so many resources that any person that lives in the United States of America should wonder how they’re going to eat on any given day,” said Dr. J. Lawrence Turner, the church’s senior pastor.
Volunteers from the City of Memphis filled boxes with food for those in need this Thanksgiving.
“When I’m sitting down with my family on Thursday, I can reflect and say, ‘I contributed, and I made a difference to some other family that may have been in need,'” said City of Memphis Chief Communications Officer Allison Fouche.
There is a change in MemFeast this year after the church announced it will no longer serve hot meals on Thanksgiving Day as in years past.
Inside the boxes are turkey, dressing and the traditional holiday meal fixings, but also, for the first time, additional food items to get a family through the holiday week. It’s something Pastor Turner calls a “blessing beyond the day.”
“We wanted this year to fill a void. During this week, there are households, particularly with children, who don’t have access to food such as a free breakfast or lunch program would provide,” Turner said.
Monday, the Hospitality Hub was predetermined to receive ten boxes, which is a welcome gift since many here don’t have family to spend the holiday with.
“We’re really grateful to be able to have these ingredients so that we can allow our guests to also celebrate the holidays just like everybody else,” said Serrie Fung with the Hospitality Hub.
Pastor Turner said the idea for giving a week’s worth of food came from a University of Memphis study of the impact on families dealing with poverty and food insecurity.
Boxes of food will also be delivered Tuesday and Wednesday to predetermined recipients.