DO GOOD WITH FOOD: DNA'S ANNUAL BASH SUPPORTS MID-SOUTH FOOD BANK

David Stephens and Marcy Siebert

David Stephens and Marcy Siebert

By Jim Walker & Marcy Siebert

Mark your wall calendars, set your e-events or put a sticky-note on the bathroom mirror. However you block out the day, save Sunday, Nov. 13 for the DNA-hosted Do Good With Food party. This year’s edition of the annual funtime fundraiser will be held at Downtown’s stylish Bleu Restaurant from noon to 3 p.m.– and so is titled Brunch at Bleu. As always, all proceeds go to the Mid-South Food Bank.

The Mid-South Food Bank is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 300 charitable feeding programs in 31 counties in west Tennessee, north Mississippi and east Arkansas. These agencies include food pantries, youth programs, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers, residential programs, senior programs and rehabilitation programs.

In the Mid-South Food Bank’s service area, more than 26 percent of children are “food insecure.” There is a critical connection between childhood nutrition and cognitive and physical development. Even short-term nutritional deficiency can impact a child’s health and ability to learn. Consequently, the Mid-South Food Bank also has two childhood feeding programs: Kids Cafe and the Food for Kids Backpack Program.

The Mid-South Food Bank distributes about one million pounds of food a month, and almost ten percent of that food comes from community food drives.

Ten years ago, our own Marcy Siebert saw a need to help fill the Mid-South Food Bank’s shelves.

“Seeing empty food bank shelves on the TV news struck a chord with me,” Siebert said. “It reminded me that, at Northwest Airlines Cargo, where I worked, empty shelves in our warehouse meant no business was being done. I felt that was a tragedy for a food bank, for the people who need the food.”

So, doing what she does best, she threw a party. Sponsored by the DNA, the event was initially titled The Power of Protein, as the DNA realized early-on that protein items are the least-donated to the food bank, and so decided to step up and donate them.

“I was blown away by the success of the first party,” Siebert said, “how that tremendously fun event brought in so much money and food for the food bank.”

The event has been held every year since. And, over those years, given generously to by DNA members and Siebert’s airline friends, the food and fundraisers have brought in more than $10,000 and more than 4,000 pounds of provisions for the Mid-South Food Bank.

David Stephens, the Mid-South Food Bank’s Community Relations Manager, said, “The DNA has been a wonderful partner in the fight to end food insecurity. For many years they have provided hundreds of dollars and pounds food to help the Mid-South Food Bank feed families, seniors and children throughout the 31 counties. Marcy has been a true champion in her fight to bring awareness to hunger in the Mid-South.”

Your admission to this year’s Do Good With Food festivities includes an expansive breakfast buffet and cash bar. Ensuring the good times will roll, live music will be provided by local favorites Pam and Terry. There will also be a drawing for a Bleu dinner for two.

Tickets for the Do Good With Food party are $30 per person, which includes your meal, tax and tip. Please purchase your tickets ahead of time through Eventbrite at Brunch at Bleu.

Most Important: Along with your admission, please bring several non-perishable “protein” food items, such as canned meats and fish, peanut butter or other nut butters, dried beans, Spam and soups.

Cash donations are also welcome, and if you can’t attend the party, please send a check payable to the Mid-South Food Bank to the attention of Marcy Siebert, 648 Riverside Drive, Unit 418, Memphis, TN 38103.

Oh, and one more thing. Siebert says that, if you impress her with your donation, she will buy you a drink. While that leaves her a lot of wiggle-room, let’s all load up and see if we can make her regret that offer. Cheers!

Bleu Restaurant & Lounge is located directly across from the FedEx Forum in Downtown Memphis at the corner of S. Third Street and Lt. George W. Lee Avenue, at 221 South 3rd Street. Enjoy complimentary valet parking provided by The Westin Memphis Beale Street, located at 170 Lt. George W. Lee Avenue. (The parking is free, but don’t forget to tip the valets!) For further details on Bleu Restaurant & Lounge visit www.downtownbleu.com.

For more information on the Mid-South Food Bank visit www.midsouthfoodbank.org.