Memphis Donates Water to Flint
It started with a simple phone call.
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.