Restaurants team up to help serve meals at warming stations

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Mid-South is once again showing just how generous it can be.

As the sun sets and the bitterly cold night begins, the Benjamin Hooks Library's meeting rooms fill up with people looking to escape the cold.

Warming centers provide a warm and safe place to sleep for the night.

Food trucks like Say Cheese have dished out dozens of meals to those sheltering from the cold. It's a selfless deed that didn't go unnoticed and has now inspired others to help.

"It just moved me," said Ernie Mellor, president of Memphis Restaurant Association. "I said 'why aren't we doing something like this?' So, I said 'let's just do it.' There is so much homelessness in this town and you know we have to step up. So this is just our little way of saying let's do it."

Now other restaurants part of the Memphis Restaurant Association are stepping up, volunteering their kitchens to add another meal to be served at the warming center.

"If we are feeding them dinner or super, why don't we feed them breakfast?" Mellor said. "A cup of coffee and a biscuit or even eggs and who knows whatever they care to pick up."

Mellor's catering business Hog Wild will dish out to feed at least 125 people on Friday morning, offering a hearty breakfast of eggs, cheese grits, biscuits, bacon, and likely some fried chicken.

"We give back a lot to the community. We do a lot with some of the shelters in town," Mellor said. "But I felt like this was truly something that we needed to do."

It's a service Mellor hopes continues when warming centers re-open during the next batch of cold nights, providing a warm meal that warms the heart and hands of Memphians in need.

Warming centers will be open through Sunday.

The Memphis Restaurant Association is still looking for a few more restaurants to help dish out meals through the weekend. To learn more about how you can help, click here.

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