Updates (as of May 11)
- MIFA Meals on Wheels: Staff, volunteers, and City of Memphis employees are delivering hot and shelf-stable or frozen meals Monday through Wednesday. Our objective is to get as many meals into seniors' homes as we can in case of future service disruption; we have delivered more than 75,000 hot, shelf-stable, and frozen meals since March 16. No communal dining at congregate meal sites; clients receive a week of meals once per week.
- Emergency Services & Emergency Housing: Walk-ins for emergency assistance are suspended; applications for financial assistance and emergency housing are accepted online only; food vouchers are suspended. Applications have doubled over the same period last year; applicants should expect delayed responses from staff due to the volume of applications. Approximately 86% of applicants cite coronavirus as their reason for applying.
- Homeless Hotline for Families: The hotline is still accessible 24/7 to homeless families with minor children in need of immediate shelter.
We are especially grateful for your support during this crisis. Click here to make a gift online.
Our opportunities for volunteers are limited at this time. Learn more here.
A media kit, which includes video and narrative, is available here.
Virus throws a wrench in MIFA’s senior meal delivery system
The Daily Memphian, March 23, 2020
At MIFA, ‘We had to get the meals out’
The Daily Memphian, April 17, 2020
March 17, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
firstname.lastname@example.org, (901) 529-4518
MIFA announces service changes in response to coronavirus
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (Tuesday, March 17, 2020)—MIFA’s mission is to support vulnerable seniors and families in crisis though high-impact programs. During the coronavirus pandemic, the 52-year-old social service nonprofit is working with partners such as the City of Memphis, the Aging Commission of the Mid-South, MLGW and HUD in an effort to continue to provide services to the extent possible, while observing current guidelines from the CDC and our local health department.
MIFA Meals on Wheels provides daily nutrition for approximately 1,200 local seniors in their homes and another 1,000 at congregate sites, including senior centers and other facilities across the county. These meals are essential for the homebound elderly, many of whom have access to just one meal a day. This week, MIFA is delivering an extra supply of frozen or shelf-stable meals to current clients in case of service disruption and may consider weekly rather than daily deliveries as this situation evolves. Registered senior clients at congregate sites will be able to pick up a meal at the site; communal dining has been suspended.
In consideration of the safety of staff, volunteers and clients, MIFA is working with funders to arrange for once-weekly deliveries of five meals for home-delivered clients. If deliveries are reduced to once a week, additional phone safety checks will be implemented for those clients using staff and volunteers. While these plans are finalized, daily deliveries by staff and volunteers will continue. Any changes to the delivery schedule will be communicated to volunteers and meal recipients.
MIFA is taking every precaution with staff and volunteers to ensure best practices are followed, as established by the Shelby County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All staff and volunteers have been advised to stay home if they feel sick and to follow germ-control protocols. By end of business Wednesday, March 18, all staff possible will be working from home; the building will be closed to the public except for key staff and volunteers. Facilities staff will continue their increased efforts to sanitize the building throughout the day.
As of March 17, in order to minimize risk to clients and staff, walk-in requests for emergency assistance are no longer accepted. Applications for emergency financial assistance and emergency housing are available online at mifa.org/applyonline; however, food voucher assistance is suspended.
Homeless families with children whose need for shelter is immediate should call the homeless hotline, which is available 24/7, at (901) 529-4545.
MIFA is closely monitoring the current situation as it evolves. Please check this site for updates: mifa.org/coronavirus. And please consider a donation to support this critical work: mifa.org/donatenow.
March 12, 2020
MIFA's leadership team is making plans to safeguard our clients and staff against coronavirus, particularly now that a COVID-19 diagnosis has been identified in Shelby County. We are monitoring announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Shelby County Health Department, as well as agencies related to our work like HUD and Meals on Wheels America.
While this public health crisis presents a new challenge, MIFA has responded to the changing needs of our community since the beginning. Our talented program staff is exploring ways to limit exposure for our most vulnerable clients, and we are making plans for operational adjustments if we need them. Our priority is to continue serving the seniors and families who come to us for help.
A few details I can share: Next week, we will deliver an additional week of meals to all home-delivered meal recipients, in case of future delivery interruptions. We are encouraging families applying for emergency assistance to begin that process online to limit traffic in our building. We are recommending conference calls in place of on-site meetings with outside groups and have increased our facility sanitation efforts.
Thanks to the support and compassion of a generous community, we are able to remain flexible and responsive to our area's most vulnerable citizens. From the donors who enrich our work to the volunteers who offer caring concern and reassurance to our clients, we are grateful to each of you for helping us serve in times of calm and times of crisis.
We will continue to update this page as changes arise.
Sally Jones Heinz
President & CEO