Memphis chef, Mid-South Food Bank work to fight food insecurity during Hunger Action Month

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:06 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:47 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This month, thousands of organizations across the nation are working to fight food insecurity. September is Hunger Action Month.

Earlier this week, Action News 5 met with a Memphis-area chef and restaurant owner who’s joining the fight to end hunger here in the Mid-South in multiple ways.

You may know her -- her name is Chef Tam.

She owns Chef Tam’s Underground Café in Midtown.

Every Thursday starting this week through Oct.13, Chef Tam will take us back to the 90s with 90s-era food pricing.

She’s calling this an inflation vacation, just one way to fight food insecurity this Hunger Action Month.

“We’ll be offering 90s prices on Thursday to the first 75 diners. That means food that might be $19 will be $10 and some change,” Tam said.

This initiative is a partnership with Memphis-based company Wesson Cooking Oil. Both are fighting food insecurity this September, also known as Hunger Action Month.

“For the 90′s prices, you’re going to get the best fried chicken in the city,” she said. “You’ll get a fried-green tomato BLT and you’ll get a Cola cake. All of those items are made with Pure Wesson.”

According to Feeding America, one in eight Tennesseans are food insecure and more than 40 percent of households in the state receive SNAP benefits to combat that insecurity.

“We go out twice a year anyway to feed the homeless,” she said.

Still, Chef Tam says she understands that’s not enough. So, Tam’s Underground Café is partnering with Wesson Cooking Oil to donate to the Mid-South Food Bank with a social media challenge.

“Being able to team up with the food bank is amazing,” Tam said. “Being able to build up people is everything.”

Here’s how it works:

Users must use the hashtag “#inflationvacation” and tag Wesson Cooking Oil. For every tag, the company will donate $5 to the Mid-South Food Bank for a total of up to $10,000.

The Mid-South Food Bank supplies perishable and non-perishable food items to more than 400 pantries across the Mid-South with Shelby County being the largest county it serves.

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