Hunger in the Mid-South persists year round - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hunger in the Mid-South persists year round

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More than 5,700 volunteers gave almost 36,000 hours of their time to the Mid-South Food Bank in 2012, but there is always room for more. More than 5,700 volunteers gave almost 36,000 hours of their time to the Mid-South Food Bank in 2012, but there is always room for more.
There is a long list of in-house programs, warehouse work, and year-round events like the Action News Five Holiday food drive that make volunteers a priceless asset. There is a long list of in-house programs, warehouse work, and year-round events like the Action News Five Holiday food drive that make volunteers a priceless asset.

(WMC-TV) - The Mid-South Food Bank helps feed thousands of people year round not only in Shelby County but also in 30 other counties in three states.

They would not be able to do it without the help of volunteers.

More than 5,700 volunteers gave almost 36,000 hours of their time to the Mid-South Food Bank in 2012, but there is always room for more.

"When someone wants to volunteer they go to the website and look at all the variety of things that we have to do and choose what fits their schedule," said the Mid-South Food Bank volunteer coordinator Paula Rushing.

In a September report released by the Food Research and Action Center, Mississippi ranked number one among states where families with children struggle to afford food. Arkansas ranked number six and Tennessee is number eight.

The Gallup Organization asked 1.8 million households: Have there been times in the past 12 months when you didn't have enough money to buy food that you or family needed Nationally nearly one in four households answered yes.

Rushing says it is important for everyone to know that the food bank is not a food pantry. Donations are not distributed to the general public, but to other charitable agencies that feed the needy.

"That could be your soup kitchens, your homeless shelters, food pantries senior homes, and so on," said Rushing.

There is a long list of in-house programs, warehouse work, and year-round events like the Action News Five Holiday Food Drive that make volunteers a priceless asset.

Rushing is inspired by the spirit of giving during the holidays, but she wants the potential volunteers to know hunger is a year-round problem.

"I mean it just dies after the holidays. We're feeding the same amount of people on January 1 as we are Christmas and Thanksgiving," said Rushing.

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