Theo & Nan Pinkston - Nourishing Children in Catoosa County
Right now there are 17 million families in America that don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Many of them are parents who work hard but whose dollars simply don't stretch far enough.
On this week's 'Pay it Forward' we help recognize a couple that's nourishing children in their north Georgia community.
For many students a healthy meal comes in the form of a free or reduced price school lunch.
But, one Catoosa County couple is committed to making sure kids have good food to eat EVERY day of the week.
President of the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce Martha Eaker says, "Theo and Nan Pinkston started a program a couple of years ago called 'Nourishing Children in Catoosa County. They discovered that there was many children that we were not aware of that were on school lunch programs. But, when the weekends came they (the students) went home and they didn't have any food."
Theo and Nan work tirelessly each school week to pack 1,500 healthy weekend snacks for children in need.
Some friends and family members who are in on the 'Pay it Forward' surprise lead the way through the hallways of Ringgold United Methodist Church.
That's where the food packing rooms are headquartered.
As the group turns the corner Martha catches the couple by surprise. "Hey guys! How are you? Look at you here just working away, working, working away!"
Martha takes off her gloves and says to the husband and wife team, "On behalf of the McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 I am excited to 'Pay it Forward' for all the things that you guys do, for the children in Catoosa County. Here's you one, two, three, four, 500 dollars!"
Nan begins to tear up. "Oh, thank you do much! Thank you so, so very much," she exclaims!
Martha continues, "Thank you, Nan, for all you do. You're just amazing!"
Looking at her husband and then around the room Nan says, "We have wonderful, wonderful volunteers who come each week and put the bags together, putting 7 items in each bag, loading them up and delivering them to the schools."
Before we leave the couple to their weekly food packing duties Nan tells me a story that encapsulates the passion behind their project.
Nan smiles and says, "One of the children last week, a couple of weeks ago, said to me as I was leaving... he said, 'My mamma said anybody who gives me my bag today loves me just as much as she does.'"
This month the Pinkston's will pack their 100,000th weekend snack sack.
To learn more about their project go to the Pinkston's Facebook page:
Nourishing Children in Catoosa.
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