Fran Stanley, 66, was in one of over 100 vehicles at the Mid-South Food Bank Mobile Pantry distribution at Hickory Hill Community Center in February. She was excited to get her first box of food.
“A family friend told me about the extra food. It got me excited and then emotional,” explained Stanley, who was a nurse for 37 years before retiring in 2012 due to health issues.
Stanley often keeps some of her several grandchildren at her home, so the food she received that day will also help alleviate the pressures of balancing expenses and getting enough of the healthy food she needs.
“Getting this food makes me happy,” she said. “I can’t help but to smile.”
The Mobile Pantry distribution that day, sponsored by United Health Care, was the second of several planned monthly distributions in the southeast area of Shelby County that has been identified as having a high food-insecure population. The food, totaling 20,000 pounds, included packaged salads, grapes, fresh vegetables or canned ham and other goods. Additional Mobile Pantry distributions have been taking place in two other areas of the county - Orange Mound and Frayser - thanks to funding from the City of Memphis in a grant originating from the MLK 50 activities in January.
Clients received food based on the number of people in their households, and boxes contain enough food to last at least two weeks. Most people who receive SNAP benefits (food stamps) say they provide enough food for two to three weeks at best.