The Verizon Foundation is uniting with Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) to provide high-needs families access to food during the month of May. Verizon awarded MAM, in partnership with the Mid-South Food Bank, a $10,000 grant to provide 14-day food boxes full of non-perishable food, fruits, and vegetables to families in MAM’s six ZIP code footprint.
“In the midst of COVID-19, the Foundation has shifted its community engagement focus to help local organizations that are providing relief for children, families, first responders and healthcare professionals,” stated Sheleah Harris, Local & State Government Affairs Manager, Verizon. “MAM has quickly adapted to address food insecurity, and we are honored to support MAM as we all get through this pandemic together.”
MAM has held eight weekly mobile food distribution events since March 27, alternating between its MAM Grizzlies Center in the Alcy Ball community and its MAM Leawood Center in the Berclair neighborhood. Cars line up hours before each event as more than two dozen MAM staff and volunteers prepare food boxes for easy distribution. Families are not allowed to leave their cars; the event is drive-through only. At least 350 families are served at each event, and MAM has served more than 2,800 families in total.
“The fallout from the COVID-19 has been and continues to be devasting to high needs families. As schools are closed and unemployment is rising, we count on business partners to come along beside us to help our city’s citizens,” stated Preston Butts, MAM Chief Development Officer. “Verizon did not hesitate one minute to help us. They stepped up big time and we are more than thankful.”