On Saturday afternoon, April 12, the Fayette FACTOR (Fayette Alliance Connecting Together Our Resources) Executive Director received a phone call from the Leadership Team for the Fayette County Public Schools. They reached out for assistance in feeding students served by mobile sites. It was explained that a nutrition employee was diagnosed as positive for COVID-19. Through an abundance of caution FCHS cafeteria was closed for two weeks to limit exposure to those who had contact with the employee.
FCHS is the site that prepares all the meals for mobile sites. The specific ask was: Could Fayette FACTOR mobilize the community to provide meals for students for one week at the four mobile sites? Fayette FACTOR said “yes!” and rolled into action Saturday afternoon and all day and into the night on Easter Sunday. On Monday morning, more than 500 meals were prepared and distributed to the mobile sites. By the end of the week, approximately 3,100 meals were served along with supplemental food supplies.
“It felt like a post-Easter Miracle,” says Dawn Oparah, Fayette Factor Executive Director. “FACTOR shared a Facebook post about the need on Sunday afternoon. Soon after that, phone calls were made and help started to pour in.”
Help came in the form of organizations and individuals making donations; volunteers helping to prepare, pick up, and distribute meals; businesses willing to discount meals or give away free meals. The response to the need was evidence of a loving act from a community that cares.
• In less than 36 hours a plan was hatched and implemented on how to “Feed Our Children” bravo Fayette County: Because of you we can do amazing things to serve
• Peachtree United Methodist Church prepare almost 900 meals
• McDonald’s Fayetteville, owned and operated by CEO Muriel Powell, provided 1000 free meals plus supplemental food
• Received approximately 6000 supplemental food from Midwest Food Bank, such as nutria–grain bars, peanut butter crackers, fruit cups, and cereal,
• Holy Trinity St. Vincent de Paul helped to coordinate volunteers for meal distribution and prepared all the bags of supplemental food to be delivered with the meals
• The Fayette Chamber of Commerce helped to identify restaurants to prepare meals
• Highland Bakery and Kitchen Peachtree City, Larry’s Giant Subs in Fayetteville, and Firehouse Subs Fayetteville provided meals at a discounted rate
• Started with four mobile sites to distribute meals, ended with eight sites: Marnelle Mobile Home Park, Kenwood Landing Mobile Home Park, Four Seasons Mobile Home Park, Shiloh Mobile Home Park, Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park, Wynnmeade Subdivision, and Renew Apartments
• Leonard Presberg as an individual raised nearly $1000 from Facebook pledges from 23 people who wanted to help
• Partnering individuals and organizations included Commissioner Charles Rousseau, Peachtree City United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity St. Vincent de Paul, the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, North Fayette Community Association, NAACP, McDonald’s of Fayetteville, First Baptist Church of Peachtree City, First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City, Rolling Hills Baptist Church, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Midwest Food Bank, Peachtree City Police Department Resource Officers, and United Way
• Organizational donors included Peachtree City United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity St. Vincent de Paul, Fayetteville First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church Peachtree City, Baha’i Faith of Fayette County, Southern Crescent Civitan Club, Atlanta Skyline Civitan Club #8, North Fayette Community Association, Princeton Chase Subdivision, Midwest Food Bank
• Business Lunch Partners included McDonald’s of Fayetteville, Highland Bakery & Kitchen, Firehouse Subs, Larry’s Giant Subs, and Chick-fil-a Midtown Peachtree City
• Individual donors included Mr. and Mrs. Robert Choate, Commissioner Charles Rousseau, Leonard Presberg, Sara Van Etten, Melissa Lohr, Bernard Oparah, Jennifer Vetter, Julie Jasnic, Jennifer Mayes, Colin Martin, Patricia Roman, Beth A. Rose, Heather Cap, Laura Bailey, Linda Porter Alicia Diaz, Krisstin Clark, Valerie Jeanne Wilkinson, Tiffany Tatum, Eileen McGann, Helena Berube, Lori Febella, Candace Ohlmeier, Michelle Hill, Kaylynda Schock, Joyce Larson, Diane Beal, Beverly Black, Melissa Kotch, Carole Curtis Godwin, Kim Schmitt Holman, Joe Domaleski, Jay Lerner, Harry Presberg, Joan Chapman Randers, Viviana Goldenberg, Karen Rands, Lorraine Taijeron Leslie, Britt Canby, Ashley Alred Parker, Sheila Pace, Donna Morse, Andree Devine, Patricia Moore, Sean Bennett, Peggy Odum Thomas, Catherine Sanderson, Melinda Gyi White, Brian Anderson, Walter Hopewell, Susan Samson, and Melissa Lohr
• Volunteers included Sam Sweat, Charles Rousseau, Leonard Presberg, Bernie McMullen, Jeff Granier, Sara Van Etten, Melissa Lohr, Karen Stephens, Dan Stephens, Mark Matson, Dan Lebby, Mary Ann Cox, Will Garner, Jeff Carson, Karen Wilkonson, Eileen Lavouie, Patricia Silva, Lourdes Castano, Elvia Flores, Kristin Miller, Kelly Guillou, Brandee Gutierre, Dave Bril, Jay Jones, Tony Wade, Ogechi Oparah, Bernard Oparah, Sheryl Watford, Debbie Markart, Renee King, Valerie King, Mike Foran, Bob Morris, Susan Morris, Bridget Forsyth, Jim Davis, Susan Luciano, Kevin Cheney, Sharon Morehart, Mark Morehart, Cindy Wess, Rosy Burns, Heidi Logelin, John Pororski, and many unnamed church volunteers from Peachtree City United Methodist church
A new need has emerged. As FACTOR coordinated meals, they discovered areas in the community where it was difficult for some families to get to the designated mobile sites with their children at the time of distribution. FACTOR wants to work with groups and volunteers to make sure that these new sites continue to have food available for children who can’t get to the designated food pick-up site.
During this COVID–19 Crisis FACTOR will continue to identify needs in the community and seek to find resources within the community to help support the unmet needs. Fayette is a wonderful community with plenty of people, organizations, faith groups and businesses willing to help. FACTOR is happy to help coordinate the efforts of matching resources with needs.