SWHRA provides 7,500 meals a day to children

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By Kendall Patterson

Pictured above is Jastein Young who helps out at SWHRA as she wraps up a meal to be sent out to a child in the West Tennessee community.

Thousands of children in the region are impacted by the service of Southwest Human Resource Agency over the course of the summer.
The organization provides about 7,500 meals a day to make sure children are fed during the months they do not get meals from school while school is out.
“Most of the children get fed in the school system with breakfast and lunch, and then when summer comes they’re not being fed at home. You don’t know what their home situation is. So the summer meals are so important. It does a lot,” said Amie Croom who is the nutrition coordinator at SWHRA.
Children across 10 counties in West Tennessee that are at summer camps, athletic camps, vacation bible schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and more are nourished by breakfast and lunch packages that they receive.
“From what I’m hearing from several counties, several counties are struggling with feeding their children and this is helping,” Croom said.
“This has been a real success story for our agency,” Executive Director Mike Smith said. “We fed probably three million children here in this time that we’ve been open here. It’s just an invaluable resource here for the community in Chester County and all of West Tennessee. Our folks have just gone way beyond the call of duty to make this work.”
High schoolers do their community a service as they help SWHRA get these meals prepared.
“What a blessing for a young child to have a job, and what a blessing it is for us to have them,” Smith said.
On top of the meals for the children during the summer months, SWHRA prepares around 3,000 meals for senior citizens as well all throughout the year and supply food to at-risk after school programs during the school year. That is about 10,500 meals prepared per day during the summer months.
“This is a year-round operation,” Smith said.
SWHRA is still looking for drivers to help deliver the meals. Drivers must be 18 years or older. Contact SWHRA at (731) 989-5111 if you would like to help out.

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