MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Christmas came early for the Mid-South Food Bank as it received one of its largest donations ever Tuesday.

The Shelby County government presented the Mid-South Food Bank with a $3 million check to help the food bank distribute more meals to those in need. 

“We’re going to make a contribution to the Mid-South Food Bank- maybe one of the largest in the Midsouth food bank history,” Mayor Lee Harris said.

Mid-South Food Bank at Memphis University School

The donation is funded through the county’s American Rescue Plan Act allotment.

Cathy Pope, president and CEO of the Food Bank, says since the start of the pandemic they’ve almost quadrupled the amount of food they serve every month.

She says temporary food resources from federal and state agencies have recently ended. So, she says the additional funds will allow them to continue to keep up with the high demand.

“One dollar provides three meals. So, we’re going to be able to provide 9-million meals to our community and we cannot be more excited,” Pope said.

The spirit of giving was passed on to students at Memphis University School as they helped the Mid-South Food Bank distribute as many meals as possible to those in the community.

“It makes me feel inspired to help out even more and I hope seeing this helps a lot of other people feel inspired as well to help out,” a MUS senior, Matthew Mellone, said.

The food bank says before the pandemic, they distributed 16 million pounds of food a year, and at the height of the pandemic, the amount rose to 55 million pounds in one year.