Mid-South Hero: Providing meals to those in need

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An executive, a leader, and a servant--this month’s Mid-South Hero sees the importance of providing basic needs for the community, and inspires others to do the same.

Sally Jones Heinz is a native Memphian, and after discovering a passion for fundraising, she began working with non-profit organizations to try and make a difference in our community.

“I am motivated when I am able to work at a place that has a mission and is mission driven,” Heinz said.

Sally found that purpose at the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, or MIFA.

“MIFA really tries to meet some of the most basic needs of our neighbors,” she said. “Food, shelter...So I was just really drawn to being somewhere where we were focused on those among us who might be most in need.”

MIFA’s mission is to support the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis, serving the community through programs like Meals on Wheels.

“A homebound senior who may not have the capacity to prepare their own food: we deliver a meal to them and that helps them stay in the home that they love. Those seniors are also very isolated. So, someone brings a meal, that volunteer who delivers a meal and has a brief conversation, that sometimes is as important as the nutrition.”

In addition to Meals on Wheels, they also provide assistance to struggling families in times of crisis.

“Sometimes an unexpected crisis like a job layoff or a medical expense, they put a mother in the position of having to choose, ‘Do I put food on the table, or do I pay the utility bill?’ And we don’t think a mother should ever have to be in that position.”

“The last few years have been a struggle for families, so anything that we can do to keep a family out of experiencing homelessness ever is important, and to keep family stably housed, to keep children in school where they were going to school is the goal.”

But it’s not just MIFA’s work that drives Sally.

“We’re all different. We come from different parts of the community, we have different opinions, but if we come together to serve, then we have that in common. Serving together is so powerful. And I think if we could bottle that up, and if we could volunteer more and serve more then that could go a long way in making our community better.”

And even with challenges from the pandemic, Sally continued to lead and inspire those around her.

“I thought she was a hero before COVID…but I think being able to lead an organization like MIFA which was vital to the community before the pandemic, but even more so during the last two or three years,” Anna Kathryn Word said. “Without any hiccups, we revolutionized the way we provided services to people, we didn’t miss a blink, and I think being able to do that.”

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