Around a dozen Hall County businesses have come together to sponsor an event that will provide lunches for children who are out of school due to coronavirus concerns.
The event, called Level Up in our Community, will work like a drive-through restaurant. Families can drive up to the Veterans of Foreign Wars location in Gainesville beginning at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, choose from several boxed lunch options, then pull around to collect their food.
Restaurants that have donated food so far include Sliced, Johnny’s BBQ and the Inn-Between Deli. Wizards Video Games, Carriage Kia in Gainesville and Xtreme Clean Auto Spa have also pledged to provide goodie bags and coupons to families who attend.
The event originated with a Facebook post on Friday from Angelica Tabor Fells, owner of Level Up Haircuts in Gainesville. Tabor Fells offered to purchase pizza for families who normally rely on their school lunches.
Joy Whitlow, Studio Manager and Producer at North Georgia Business RadioX, saw Tabor Fell’s post and immediately reached out to her to make the offer into something bigger.
“This is a dire situation that we’re in right now,” said Whitlow. “We said, we’re going to make sure that we can build it up as much as possible and it has blown up.”
Whitlow said because of the donations from businesses, restaurants and private donors, Level Up in our Community has the potential to feed around 450 children.
“This is what I love about our community in Gainesville and Hall County. We do come together and we pool our resources, we do everything we can to make sure that our community is taken care of,” said Whitlow.
Even though the event is located in Gainesville, Whitlow said families from surrounding communities are welcome to come. Her only request is that families use honesty and good judgement to take only what they need so there’s enough to go around.
Event staff is also taking proper precautions in order to comply with health standards among coronavirus concerns. Esteamed Solutions in Gainesville will handle sanitation and the event venue will be thoroughly cleaned before, during and after the event. Volunteers will also be required to read FDA requirements before their shift and wear gloves throughout the entire event. In addition, all food will be prepared off-site then delivered to the VFW.
Whitlow said she is still looking for volunteers to help with taking food orders, delivering food and other event-related tasks. Any food or business contribution is also appreciated. Anyone interested can contact her directly at [email protected] or 678-653-5288 to volunteer or contribute. The event will start at 11 a.m. and last until food runs out.