While poverty was a challenge before the call to wear masks and keep safe distancing, its most noticeable symptom, food insecurity, has harshly emerged in almost every income level due to the pandemic.
Case in point: Kim Smith is an administrative assistant at FedEx. While she has not lost her job so far, her husband’s employer sliced his hours starting a month ago.
The couple, who tend to their grandchildren, Kadien, 8, and Jacob, 6, have lost $4,000 in monthly income, she said. They live near Shady Grove Elementary, which notified the parents of its school’s students about the Mid-South Food Bank Mobile Pantry distribution at nearby Shady Grove Presbyterian Church in East Memphis.
Smith and her grandsons visited the distribution April 17. Several Shady Grove Elementary teachers volunteered at the pantry, which helped over 200 households.
“We could see where we were headed with income loss. Knowing there would be food for our family is a big relief and a comfort,” she said. “I knew about the Food Bank because of FedEx’s involvement with helping it.”
Now she knows what it means to be on the receiving end of emergency assistance. “We are very grateful for Mid-South Food Bank, and the help that we know is going to be there,” she said.