Memphis residents work to find food after winter storms affect food banks and stores

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you’re running short on food, you’re not alone. The Mid-South Food Bank is closed again, and grocery store chains tells us, they’re operating under emergency conditions.

A morning trip to Kroger did not go as planned for Paul Obannon. He and a lot of others are making adjustments at the grocery store, even outside, where a man in the red pickup offered a helping hand to a Kroger employee trying to collect all the carts abandoned in the snow.

When we went inside the store, we found some shelves mostly stocked, but a lot of others running low on items including dog food, chips and some types of bread.

“I noticed some sandwich meats were probably out because wasn’t a lot to go through there,” said shopper Joe Campbell.

For Margery Wolcott, this challenge could mean life or death. She runs Constance Abbey street ministry. She needs to get enough food to feed the 250 people staying at city of Memphis warming centers.

“The problem has gotten to be the stores don’t have the food in them, so we have some distributors that said call us if you need food even if they aren’t open, we’ll get food to you,” Wolcott said. “So, it’s been great. Team effort.”

Getting creative becomes even more important, with the Mid-South Food Bank closed for the third day this week.

“The church here, Idlewild presbyterian, they have a food bank, and I realize the food bank isn’t open to give them supplies either. That’s the problem, the distributors bringing stuff here aren’t able to get here,” Wolcott said. “If you’re asking me, that’s my suggestion. Ask churches.”

Still, the snow may be on the ground, but warmer temperatures in the forecast give her hope.

A Kroger representative tells us their supply is strong, but the icy roads has made deliveries to stores an issue. Walmart also says it has activated emergency operations.

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