Memphis Athletic Ministries’ work to help children facing fewer community resources be shaped into healthy, fruitful adults is multi-facet. The not-for-profit Christian organization, which touches the lives of 750 children year-round, offers after-school sports, literacy, counseling and career preparation, and altogether, are critical aspects that fall into a MAM core value of holistic development.
Kids who attend any of MAM’s seven area sites are present from about 3 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. during the school year, and from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. during summer break. MAM Director Randy Odom says that developing the kids’ overall maturation would be more challenging without the fuel – snacks from Mid-South Food Bank.
“Many of our kids at MAM face hunger at home, and they live in food desserts where traveling to,” Odom said. “Just the other day I spoke to one who was having a bad attitude and he said, ‘Coach, I’m hungry. I haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday afternoon.’”
During the school year, the participants are provided snacks in the late afternoon, and during the summer are giving snacks in the at least twice daily.
MAM, founded in 1998, became a Mid-South Food Bank Partner Agency about eight years ago. Odom says the ability for staff to order bulk amount of food for their youths is invaluable.
“We are dealing with unbelievably quality kids. For us to assist them, feeding them nutritious food is essential part of what we do.”