1 MILLION meals provided by YMCA, SCS, Chartwells and UofM partnership for Shelby County students 

August 17, 2020 - The 1 million meals milestone that provides Shelby County students meals during the pandemic through the partnership between the YMCA, Shelby County Schools, Chartwells and University of Memphis has been reached. As many as 14,000 meals have been packaged each day since March 25 as the partnership is continuing to provide meals for Shelby County students during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Chartwells, the dining services partner for the UofM, has spent $1.3 million locally during the pandemic while also supporting food insecurities on campus with donations of $29,000 to Tiger Pantry and $9,500 for meal cards. The University Center dining hall is being used to make and compile the meals before distribution by the YMCA. 

“When we began providing this support for our community, we never imagined we would make one million meals,” said Glendel Coble, resident district manager for Chartwells. “As we continue to provide meals for those in need, we want to thank our team members, the University of Memphis, YMCA and Shelby County Schools. This would not have been possible without the support and dedication of such great and caring people. #BetterTogether.” 

The partnership is averaging 14,000 meals per day and has produced as many as 18,000. The boxes include ham and cheese or turkey and cheese sandwiches with juice, fruit and a snack. 

“The one million meals provided milestone is significant and phenomenal, especially in such a tremendous period of need for our community,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “I continue to be incredibly proud of our partnership with the YMCA, Shelby County Schools and Chartwells with help from Mayor (Jim) Strickland and the City of Memphis. Everyone stepped up at a moment’s notice and has done a remarkable job for more than five months serving not only our students, but the families of Shelby County during this challenging time.” 

“The Memphis community is strong,” said Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray. “We are extremely grateful for our partners at the YMCA, University of Memphis and Chartwells who have come together to help feed Shelby County Schools students. Our goal to eliminate hunger for children during this unprecedented crisis has been met with a tremendous response, which is affirmation that WE ARE 901.”

“We tend to use the phrase ‘Better Together’ frequently, because undoubtedly it was the combined efforts of many organizations and we are grateful to be a part of the diverse team of partners that came together to provide meals for the Shelby County Schools students,” said Jerry Martin, President & CEO of YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South. “With Dr. Ray’s commitment to eliminate hunger along with President Rudd and Mayor Strickland, we are truly humbled to be able to reach this important milestone with Chartwells.” 

During the crisis, Chartwells is continuing to serve UofM students, faculty and staff seven days a week.  “This is the most challenging time we have faced as a country,” Coble said. 

“The positive attitude of the team and willingness to continue to serve our community is very rewarding.”