Memphis Community Resources
When times get tough, Memphis comes together. For people, businesses, and organizations that need help, we’ve put together a guide of resources and funds for our city’s COVID-19 response. This guide is also a way for you to give back by donating funds to those in need.
The following guide has four sections, in this order
- Relief Funds and Economic Assistance – ways for you to help out or get help
- Food Assistance – meal pickup information for students, seniors, and those in need
- Business Resources – links to information and funds for business owners in the Memphis metro area
- How You Can Help – list of donation links
Have a relief fund, community food resource, or other ways for people to get involved and give back? Leave me a comment on this post with information and links (links are 100% required) and I will add it to this list!
Don’t forget to check out the running list of restaurants doing takeout and curbside pickup menus and the list of virtual events, many of which support local businesses and entrepreneurs.
For more information, check out Memphis Tourism’s info page.
Here’s the Memphis Coronavirus Relief Fund and Food Assistance Guide:
Relief Funds and Economic Assistance
Welcome To Memphis COVID-19 Fund
Hospitality professionals who work in hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions, convention services, and tour or sightseeing companies are eligible to apply for a one time $300 grant from Welcome To Memphis via random drawing. Eligible employees should apply for the lottery on the Welcome to Memphis website—you have until April 6 at 6 p.m. to submit your application here. It’s a lottery because the fund is limited. If you wish to donate to the fund, go here. To apply for the grant: welcometomemphis.org/covid-19-fund
Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Loans
From Hospitality TN: “Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per applicant to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have otherwise been met. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are administered and processed through the SBA. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@
Community Foundation Mid-South COVID-19 Response Fund
The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has launched a Mid-South COVID-19 Response Fund for funding organizations that serve high-risk residents. To donate and for more information, visit the Community Foundation’s website at cfgm.com.
Blues Foundation Blues Musician Relief Fund
The Memphis-based Blues Foundation has Covid relief fund set up specifically for blues musicians, which we have an abundance of here in Memphis. You can donate to support their basic needs here: https://blues.org/covid-19-fund/.
Music Export Memphis COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
Music Export Memphis has established a fund to provide financial relief for Memphis musicians who have lost income because of cancellations due to Coronavirus/COVID-19. For more information and to donate, go here.
MEM is seeking donations to this fund now to get relief flowing to our music community. Donate using the link below. Important note: there is a dropdown menu that allows you to choose how your gift should be designated – please select COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. If you would like to make a gift of $1,000 or more to this fund, please contact MEM Executive Director Elizabeth Cawein to process the gift: firstname.lastname@example.org
From MEM: “If you are an artist in need of support, what we can tell you now is that the application will be simple and have two requirements: that you live in Memphis and can provide some proof of lost income from COVID-19. In short, artists: we’ve got your back. Stand by for details on how to access funds.”
Memphis Food Industry Emergency Worker Assistance Relief Fund
Edible Memphis launched an emergency fund for food industry workers. To donate and for more information, go here. The GoFundMe page has some wonderful messages from those who have donated. Add your name to the list.
From Edible Memphis: “We have started a fund that can be accessed by workers whose hours have been curtailed or eliminated because of this crisis and who are not being otherwise compensated…We expect to start with $250 to $500 disbursements and will continually reevaluate, pending availability and circumstances.”
SERVICE INDUSTRY WORKERS: Please complete this short survey to help Edible Memphis prioritize those in our community most at risk and in need. If you haven’t already, click here to begin your application for Unemployment Benefits/Reemployment Assistance.
Memphis Virtual Tip Jar
The website tidymemphis.com has a great, super easy to read list of resources for service industry workers affected by COVID-19 closures and changes.
They are managing a Virtual Tip Jar so that you can send money directly to your favorite servers, bartenders, and workers at local restaurants. Consider donating a few bucks every time you have a meal or a cocktail at home!
If you are a server, you can fill out this form to be added to the tip jar.
The Mid-South Food Bank is packing up hundreds of boxes to help families and seniors who may be staying at home amid coronavirus concerns. The food bank preparing 250 boxes, weighing more than 30 pounds each to supplement what people may have at home for about 14 days.
Meals For Students
Many local schools are providing meals for students 18 and under. The student must be present in order to receive the meal. Please follow links for additional information.
For more school meal distributions, including Mississippi Schools go here.
Shelby County Schools is providing free meals for all students Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 60+ local pickup sites like churches, community centers, and libraries. All children under 18, even if not the in district, will be served. See the list of pickup sites here.
Collierville Schools are providing grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for children up to 18 beginning March 23. Children must be present at pickup. Submit this form by March 19 to participate in the meal pickup program.
Hardeman County Schools is providing meals from 10 a.m. to noon March 17 through 20 and again March 30 through April 3 at all school campuses.
Lauderdale County Schools is making free meals available to students at several locations. Details to be announced.
Meals For Seniors
Members of City of Memphis Senior Centers will still receive a daily meal from their respective seniors.
Members registered to receive MIFA meals can opt to pick up their meal from the center they attend or have it delivered using the van service.
Members at other senior centers have the option to pick up their meals at their respective center for their regular nominal fee.
Epicenter Business Resourves
Business Support Resources for Entrepreneurs Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic: https://www.epicentermemphis.o
Greater Memphis Chamber
The Chamber has a page dedicated to Business Guidance on COVID-19. Read that here.
The Greater Memphis Chamber also states that “We anticipate that Tennessee will be eligible soon for the SBA Disaster Loan program through the federal government. SBA recommends that Memphis area businesses download the economic injury disaster loan paper application now and start getting their documentation ready. This will help get your application prepared to be submitted as soon as the process opens.
Required documentation and other information needed for the application can be accessed here.
How You Can Help
- Donate to the Community Foundation Mid-South COVID-19 Response Fund
- Donate to the Music Export Memphis COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- Donate to the Memphis Food Industry Emergency Worker Assistance Relief Fund
- Donate to the Memphis Virtual Tip Jar for individual service industry workers.
- Donate to the Mid-South Food Bank. They have bulk buying power, so it’s better to donate money.