Hurricane Michael devastated Bay County and many people have generously donated toys for kids this holiday season, but Hearts With Hands is making sure they are fed.
Greg Lentz the Hearts With Hands President, explain the role they’ve played in the recovery effort. “We have been down since the storm happened, and been responding to all of the Bay County area, [including] Mexico Beach- all the effected areas trying to help [and distribute food and supplies to] those areas and so this project is unique because we are working just primarily with the Bay County school system.”
They are an organization based out of Asheville North Carolina that have responded to major disasters since 1992. On Dec. 17th, 18th, and 19th they traveled to every single school in Bay County to deliver a box of food for homeless children. Each box is valued at about $20 and inside is a non-perishable food that can help feed a family.
According to Kay Daniel, the Bay District Schools Homeless Liason, this is especially needed over the holidays when kids are not in school to receive breakfast and lunch. “That’s two weeks you know of an extra food load on families.”
More than 5,000 boxes were unloaded throughout the county. Currently there are more than 4,000 homeless children in Bay District Schools. “That’s a lot. We usually run about 1500 in a total school year, so at this point to be that high is just tremendous,” said Daniel.
This is just one of the reasons Lentz wants to give back. “When you look and just drive around- which you’ve done- and just see everything that’s happened to these folks… How could I see my brother hurting and not want to help them.”
Hearts With Hands spent about 12 hours each day delivering and unloading the boxes.
A link to their website, where people can sponsor a box for a homeless child is below.