YMCA will distribute food to students after coronavirus diagnosis cancels Memphis district’s original plan

The YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South will take over food distribution from Shelby County Schools after a district employee tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Meal distribution will be at the same times and locations the district previously announced: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at more than 60 locations across the city starting Monday. The food will come from YMCA instead of Shelby County Schools’ nutrition services, which district officials said Friday were compromised after a nutrition services employee fell ill with COVID-19, prompting them to suspend the meal plan. The employee did not directly handle food.

City government staff will help distribute and transport meals to the sites. Superintendent Joris Ray noted the “tremendous response” from city and county governments, restaurants, and other businesses to help “eliminate hunger for children during this public health crisis.”

“The Memphis community is strong,” Ray said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “Thank you to everyone for coming together in this time of need at Shelby County Schools.”

The district is scheduled to reopen April 6. Families can also pick up lesson packets with educational material by grade level at the meal distribution sites if they do not have access to the district’s online resources.

For more food resources and a map of meal distribution sites, check out our running list.