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Heart to Heart steps in
to serve Marion County kids

Alex Hadley of Heart to Heart in Buena Vista

From the March 25, 2020 issue of
The Journal

By Richard Harris
   During the state-mandated school closures, Heart to Heart, the nonprofit organization run by Alex Hadley, is teaming up with the Marion County School System to provide meals to students.
   The school system is providing the food and Heart to Heart is assembling the meals (making sandwiches, etc. from the supplies) and delivering them. As of Tuesday, they were serving 239 meals per day.
   It's been a big job, but but Hadley says she is very happy to have the opportunity to serve the community in this way.
   "Right now we only have a few volunteers preparing all of the meals, because we want to take precautions by having only a small number of people involved," said Hadley.
   There are also several volunteers who are handling the delivery of the meals.
   For students who live inside the Buena Vista City Limits, the meals are being delivered to their homes. Those outside of the city limits can choose one of two pick-up locations – Oakland IGA in the Oakland Community or Morgan Grocery in Tazewell. The meals arrive at the locations around 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
   While the school system is providing the food, she said Heart to Heart could still use donations of items like brown bags and ziplock bags.
   Anyone who would like to make a donation (or any student's family that may still need info on the program) may contact Alex Hadley via Facebook or by calling her at 229-314-9331.

* NOTE: The story below, which is in the March 25 newspaper, was written with the information we had at the time. The Marion County Schools website stated that the school system was "fiscally supporting" Heart to Heart. However, to clarify, we now know that support was not from any government or taxpayer funds. It was from a charity fund that school system employes donate to. The fund is used to help children in need in a variety of ways as needed. They decided to use those funds to buy around $1,000 of food to donate to Heart to Heart's efforts since the school system was not offering any food to students during the week of March 23-27.
The school system applied for a waiver to use its official USDA food funding in a non-traditional way starting April 6 (after the week of Spring Break, March 30-April 3). That waiver has been approved. The school system has not yet finalized plans for how to offer food, but it will most likely be an opportunity for parents to pick meals up at MCMHS twice per week. The school system is expected to release the final plan sometime next week.