‘Delivering Hope’ by way of Meal Service is truly a Mission they serve their communities with.

If you live in the Southwestern part of Tennessee, you are most likely aware of the Southwest Human Resources Agency (SWHRA) and the many ways they serve their communities. One of their well-known programs is ‘delivering hope’ through meal service.

During the past year as the pandemic plagued the country, the SWHRA team, led by Patti Pickler, has been relentless in making sure that  children had access to healthy meals.

In fact, operating with fewer meal sites than they usually do, they served over half a million meals across the region. They were thankful for the much-needed waivers put in place by the USDA to allow parents to pick up meals daily, which meant that kids didn’t have to eat on site and could take their meals back home for the day.

SWHRA preps meals daily for Meals on Wheels, Head Start as well as meals for the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals program for students after the school day. Starting Monday May 24th, SWHRA will begin their Summer Food Service program, utilizing their fleet of 15 vans to deliver meals to 10 counties. This delivery program helps ensure kids get the nutrition they need throughout the summer.  SWHRA also does a great job of coordinating their summer staff of local high school and college students who are quite a help in reaching all areas of the region.  From working in the kitchen and loading meals on vans and monitoring meal sites, these students have become a great asset to the meal program operations.

According to Pickler, one of the positives of the past year is the fact that more families are aware of the meal programs, not just in SW Tennessee, but all over the country. In order for families to participate, they have to know about the program. From radio and newspaper ads, social media and the website, flyers and word of mouth, the SWHRA has done a great deal of advertising and are excited for another busy summer ahead ‘delivering hope’ and good food!