For Derika Walker, access to nutritious food at a Mid-South Food Bank Mobile Pantry for her household that includes her husband, teenage son, sister and mom, has shaped her hope and resilience. The food is “amazing,” she said.
“I don’t know think my family and I would survive without the help,” she reflected.
Walker visited the Mobile Pantry held near her home, hosted by the Memphis SLIM House music collaboration that’s affiliated with the Stax Museum of America. In March, the fine-dining restaurant in Germantown that employed her, her mom and sister, closed.
“We all saw it coming. A fine-dining restaurant cannot cater towards take-out orders,” she explained.
The restaurant provided its employees with its Christmas funds to alleviate the burden. Now that those funds have been depleted, Walker finally and reluctantly, she said, applied for unemployment and SNAP benefits.
Assistance from the Mobile Pantry puts a smile on her face because it especially helps supplement her son’s burgeoning appetite, now more noticeable. “LeDarian is 16 and eats like an animal, and with school out and me being unemployed, it’s a strain,” she said.
Walker said her attitude remains optimistic, noting that, “Times are very hard, but we’ve never seen people come together like this to help each other.”