North Georgia community pulls together to feed children during coronavirus school closures

What started as a simple offer to buy pizza for hungry school children grew into a much larger community outreach event Tuesday.

On Friday Angelica Tabor Fells, owner of Level Up Haircuts in Gainesville, posted on Facebook that she planned to buy 10 pizzas to give to students who normally rely on school lunch. Gainesville City Schools are currently closed because of the coronavirus outbreak and were not able to coordinate lunch drop-offs for children until Wednesday.  

"We did this primarily to make sure we're protecting our kids, we're able to feed our kids, we can help our families," explained Fells. "Because no one person is challenged with fighting coronavirus by themselves."

SEE ALSO: Georgia families adjust to virtual learning during coronavirus school closures

Joy Whitlow with the podcast North Georgia Busines RadioX saw Fells' post and immediately offered to help amplify her efforts.

"I said, 'Is there any way we can maybe make this a little bit bigger?'" Whitlow recalled.

"But this big is not the big we anticipated," said Fells.

SEE ALSO: Management reduces check-in stations at Atlanta's airport during coronavirus outbreak

Nearly a dozen restaurants and other businesses offered to help and donated more than 450 meals.  The Gainesville VFW provided space to host the event and 35 volunteers distributed the food.

"Right now with everything going on, everything is so negative and what we have right here in this parking lot is so positive," said Whitlow.

Both women said they hope the event inspires others to help their neighbors.  The response was so overwhelming, they plan to hand out more food at the VFW located on Delta Drive Wednesday, March 18.  

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Gainesville City Schools will also begin remote food services on Wednesday.  Students can pick up meals from school buses between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at:

  • Brentwood Apartments
  • Budgetel Inn and Suites
  • Catalina Drive
  • Legacy at Lanier Apartments (formerly The Columns)
  • Harrison Square Apartments
  • HomeTowne Studios
  • Lake Forest Apartments
  • Linwood Apartments
  • Melrose Community Apartments
  • Norwood Apartments
  • Oconee Springs
  • Orchard Brook
  • Paces Court
  • The Peaks at Gainesville (formerly Lenox Park)
  • Ridgecrest Apartment Homes
  • Spring Haven
  • Versailles Apartments
  • West Avenue