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Memphis Donates Water to Flint

January 26, 2016

It started with a simple phone call.

City of Memphis, MLGW, FedEx, Tri-State Defender to send Memphis Water to Flint, Michigan (Photo Credit: Garrett Pilgrim, Choose 901)

City of Memphis, MLGW, FedEx, Tri-State Defender to send Memphis Water to Flint, Michigan (Photo Credit: Garrett Pilgrim, Choose 901)

Bernal Smith of the Tri-State Defender had been following the news of the water crisis in Flint, Mich. He knew people who live there were suffering after an attempt to find a cheaper water source in Flint resulted in a public health crisis – Flint residents’ water was now contaminated with lead. So Smith dialed the Memphis Mayor’s office and asked a simple question: How can we help?

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland knew exactly what to do. He called Memphis Light, Gas and Water.

“We have some of the best water in the world, and we’re going to share it with them,” Strickland said.

MLGW answered the call and graciously agreed to donate 12,000 bottles of water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Memphis is one of the largest cities in the country that relies on artesian wells for its drinking water, making it extremely pure and abundant.

“We are very proud that we can help Flint, Michigan, and will be helping them with water that’s probably better than they’ve ever tasted,” MLGW President Jerry Collins said.

Then there was the issue of moving the five pallets full of water nearly 800 miles north to Flint.

“Memphis is known for its big heart, for being home to some of the best drinking water in the world and, of course, home to the best logistics company in the world,” Smith said. “I knew we could respond in a big way.”

FedEx picked up the donated water from the MLGW offices in downtown Memphis on Tuesday morning. The special delivery will arrive at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan on Thursday, where it will then be distributed to the residents in need.

Smith noted that the community effort in Memphis is part of a grassroots movement (#Memphis4Flint) to continue to meet the call to action.

Individuals in Memphis wishing to make donations can drop off supplies at the Tri-State Defender offices in downtown Memphis, 203 Beale Street, Suite 200.


    Pam gentry says:

    I am Retired from FedEx and I have always been amazed and proud of how much this this company cares in so many ways

    Monte Henderson says:

    I have been in the past and will always be very proud to be a part of an organization that helps the community the way FedEx does!

    Jeff Baksa says:

    I left Flint, MI back in 1990, but still call it home. Thank you FedEx Freight for helping out my Home Town! 🙂

    Dave says:

    Not to sound negative, but the water problems in Flint aren’t going away any time soon. I’l like to hear about FedEx stuffing any truck going that way with all the water that will fit of the duration of the problem.
    Along with UPS, Coors, Miller, Annheuser-Busch…..

    s davis says:


    Charlene S. Washington says:

    I think it’s a great contribution being able to help others in the time of need.

    Araca says:

    It’s such a wonderful feeling to be part of a company that reaches out and lends a helping hand in times of needs.

    Nick Canterucci says:

    As a former Michigander, I’m happy that Memphis reached out to the needs of Flint. Once again, FEDEX has answered the call and gone above and beyond..This company has set the standard in the art of responding..

    Brian Shipaila says:

    I applaud all the donations. My mind goes to what are they doing with all the bottles. Not known for recycling, will they recycle their bottls or just throw all of them away?

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