Children should go to bed happy, not hungry is the profound theme for volunteers with Meals by Grace
Based in Cumming, Meals by Grace meets weekly to create, prepare and deliver a hot nutritious meal and additional food items to families in need with limited or unreliable transportation.
Volunteers have recently brought the service to Dawson County.
The first local distribution date with food delivered to three Dawsonville families was June 11.
Co-founder Suellen Daniels said the group hopes to grow the number of families to 20 or more for the July 9 distribution.
"That will take a whole lot more resources and a whole lot more volunteers, but it was a great way to start," she said.
Brian Haas, volunteer and pastor at Mountain Lake Church-Dawson, said the families receiving assistance are in dire need.
"Meals are packed and delivered to those who cannot get to food banks. These families are identified and vetted by the social worker and homeless advocate in the county school system," he said.
In addition to the food for the families, the children each receive five breakfasts, five lunches and five healthy snacks anytime school is out.
"It is just such a blessing. It's the most exciting thing imaginable to get up every day to know you're fulfilling your purpose," said Daniels. "The legacy that you'll leave is that children won't go to bed hungry. They'll go to bed happy."
Meals by Grace partners with three regional food banks to get food at a reduced cost.
"If you were to go to your favorite grocery store and buy a can of peaches, it would cost you right at a dollar for a one pound can. I can pay .16 cents a pound, so my can of peaches would cost .16 cents for the exact same can," Daniels said.
For more information about the ministry or to volunteer, visit the website www.mealsbygrace.org.