One in five people in the Mid-South go hungry and one in four are children. Thirty percent of senior citizens live alone and are deprived of food. Also, more than 250,000 people in the Mid-South receive food stamps.
These glaring statistics prompted organizations like The Convoy of Hope Mid-South, a nonprofit corporation, to rally its volunteers, churches and other helping hands to help feed the hungry by distributing truckloads of donated food items.
This is the fifth consecutive year that the organization will serve those in need in the Mid-South. “Hope” for those in need will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium and Fairgrounds, 940 Early Maxwell.
On that day, The Convoy of Hope Mid-South and over 200 area churches, service agencies, businesses, and medical service providers will extend a helping hand to an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 struggling families, single moms, the underprivileged, and the unemployed.
The Convoy of Hope was founded in 1984 and headquartered in Springfield, Mo. A Christian organization, it was conceived to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the poor and underprivileged in the United States and around the world.
Last year, more than 7,500 people took advantage of Convoy’s generosity and the hundreds of volunteers who served them. It’s a job that coordinator Cheryl Bone is passionate about. “If I didn’t have passion for the job, I wouldn’t do it,” she said.
More than 5,000 bags of groceries were distributed last year, said Bone, who embraces the concept of charity in addition to teaching people how to survive.
“I’m passionate about feeding people,” she said. “But I believe in teaching a person to fish. You don’t just give a person a fish.”
Teaching is part of the organization’s mission. “We teach the city how to collaborate together,” Bone said. “We work all across the Mid-South.”
The team leaders, Bone said, work together, stay together, and pray for Memphis even after thousands of men, women and children are fed that day.
“We go right from Convoy into a couple more events,” Bone said. “We’re very involved.”