City to host first-ever MemFeast on Thanksgiving Day

City to host first-ever MemFeast on Thanksgiving Day

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This Thanksgiving season, the City of Memphis says it's able to give back to those in need thanks to the communities help.

Hats, gloves and lotions are all part of the care packages Ephie Johnson and her team will be putting together in the coming weeks.

"We have about 200 or 300 of everything. We need 700 more of each of those things,” said Johnson with Neighborhood Christian Centers.

Johnson is the President and CEO of Neighborhood Christian Center. It’s one of several organizations helping the inaugural MemFeast happen this Thanksgiving Day.

"When we saw that there was a situation that we possibly wouldn't be able to serve our neighbors for Thanksgiving then we decided that we would reach out and see how we could be a part of that,” said Johnson.

The Thanksgiving Day Dinner was originally canceled because organizers said renovations to the Cook Convention Center, where the event was to be hosted, caused challenges and finances were an issue. That's when the city stepped in and community partners joined in to help.

"At the core of everything Memphians care about their city and they care about each other and that's showing through right now,” said Chief Communications Officer with the City of Memphis Ursula Madden.

The first-ever MemFeast will be held November 28 at Memphis City Hall. Food, clothing and services will be offered.

The city says no more volunteers are needed, but they're asking for new and unopened socks, scarves, hats, blankets and personal hygiene products to be donated.

"We'd be really grateful to have those things and we can give those things to people as they come,” said Madden.

The following organizations are also partnering for the event:

  • Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church- Food preparation and volunteer coordination
  • Bellevue Baptist Church- Food Donation
  • Phillip Ashley Chocolates – Coordination Of Chefs and food prep
  • Union Row/Loaded For Bear- Donations for food, logistics and event production
  • BlueCross BlueShield- Donations for Event Production
  • Hicks Convention Services- Tenting
  • Neighborhood Christian Center- Donations of care packages and volunteer coordination
  • Living Grace – Volunteer Coordination
  • SCS - Live remote and music

As for the future of the Thanksgiving Day Dinner, city officials say they're hopeful community partners will stick together. This is not a city-held function.

"We feel confident that there's going to be a home and a livelihood for this event for years to come,” said Madden.

WMC Action News 5 tried reaching the Memphis Thanksgiving Committee but were not able to. A statement was issued earlier this week reading in part, “We look forward to coming back home in 2020 to a bigger and better Cook Convention Center.”

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