Families who depend on meal programs can take heart because of the generous actions of several Bartlett-area businesses, led by Dustin Smith, owner of Smith’s Plumbing Services.
His Families-In-Need Lunch Giveaway is making sure that people who need the help can get a square meal daily during disruptions caused by Coronavirus precautions.
It began when he heard about school lunches being suspended. Before he heard that the YMCA would be picking up the slack, he went onto Facebook and offered to pay for 50 of those meals a day this week through April 3. Now he’s opened up the program to all in need for the same time period and has ramped up to feeding about 150 daily. He said Thursday that about 900 people had been fed to date.
The goal is to donate 200 meals (breakfast and lunch) daily during the week of March 30-April 3.
He pledged to match donations dollar-for-dollar up through $5,000 and said 100% of any additional donations will go straight into the meal funding.
Funding has already topped $10,000 to help fund the impromptu nutrition program, and he said he will extend the time period with continuing community support. He wants to help bridge the gap until families get some relief from the government’s promised stimulus package.
The free meals will be available for pickup at Wally Hatchet’s at 6439 Summer Ave. in Memphis through April 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. while supplies and donations last. The official limit is four meals per family, but he said Thursday that people can inquire about their options if they have a few more in their family.
In addition to Wally Hatchet’s preparation and distribution of the meals, other supporters include:
- 500 meals, Service Master by Cornerstone
- 200 meals, Admiral Roofing owner Roger McMullen
- 100 meals, Mark Goodfellow of It’s All Good Auto Sales
- 100 meals, Joseph Rowdy Legg, Homeway Construction
- 100 meals, Kathryn Sneed, Sneed Dental Arts
- 100 meals, Daniel Hodges, Hodges Tree and Landscaping
- 100 meals, John Micheal Wilson, W&W Landscaping
- 100 meals, Temoor Sarwar, La Hacienda
- 60 meals, Brody Neill
- 30 meals, The Andersons, First Metropolitan Finance
- Additional ground beef from Chris Tapp
- Italian sausage from Jeff McBride, Dino’s Meat Sales and Processing
- Donation by salesman Drew Hargrave, Flooring Solution of Memphis
- Caesar salads to go with spaghetti, bread and cookies, Panera Bread at Poplar and Ridgeway
Individuals and businesses can donate to the funding campaign at the GoFundMe account: gf.me/u/xsj6kg. Or, if donors prefer, they can make checks payable to “901 Gives” and mail them to Smith’s Plumbing office at 6843 Summer Ave, Bartlett TN 38134. (To receive a receipt for your taxable donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)