ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With kids staying home from school, many families across Orange County are having difficulties getting their daily meals as they did prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
To help with that need, a group of volunteers are doing their part to make sure children don’t miss a meal.
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Kelli Langton is among the mothers, fathers, and students picking up meals at East River High School and distributing the goods to struggling families who can’t pick up the meals on their own.
"These families can't leave because they might have a child that has asthma or an illness," Langton said. "They can't subject themselves to this. They might've lost their job and not got unemployment yet and they don't have gas to put in their car."
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the mother of two brings along her young son and daughter to help pass out deliveries in neighborhoods like Bithlo, Christmas, and other communities throughout East Orlando.
Iva Ethridge has an 8-year-old, a toddler and an infant. She can’t make it to the school because her husband, who is an essential worker, has to take the family car to work every day.
“He has to wake up at 5 am to be to work by 6:45, so I’d have to wake up every one of them, take them all with me...not a very good situation,” Ethridge said. “It’s a blessing that there are actually people who actually volunteer.”
But Langton isn’t alone in this act of kindness. She’s part of a group of about twelve moms and dads--including a student, lending a helping hand to those affected families.
“It’s just been wonderful to see our community come together and be so eager to help these families out here,” Langton said.
She says having her kids with her and one of their friends, is helping them open their eyes to the difficulties surrounding some families.
“It means more to see my children actually understand what it’s like to give back during this time,” Langton said. “We’ve experienced hurricanes and stuff where we need temporary relief but this has been going on and on and they’ve seen some of their friends that are in need and it’s so heartwarming to know that we can make a difference.”