Mary K. Carlton is tired, but there is no time to slow down. She stays busy, through the Nourish One Child program, making sure children who need food get food.

“I’m not getting a lot of rest right now,” she said. “But that’s ok.”

In a partnership with the Scottsboro City School System, Nourish One Child is providing food to children during the COVID-19 crisis.

This week, with the help of volunteers, Carlton said 1,050 food bags were put together and delivered to over 400 children.

“The number is increasing daily,” said Carlton. “We’re packing 14,000 items of food weekly with a cost of $5,000-$6,000 weekly.”

Carlton said the program has received about $35,000 in donations, including a $25,000 grant from the Bynum Foundation. It’s a six day a week job for Carlton and her husband, Gene.

“We have nine church groups who have signed up to pack on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday,” said Carlton. “We only allow 10 volunteers a time and provide gloves and hand sanitizer as well as Clorox wipes.”

Carlton said five volunteers pack on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoon.

“The school system has done a fantastic job delivering to the children,” she said. “We ask that someone be home between 4-6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”

Carlton said Nourish One Child has received over 20,000 donated food items, and volunteers have sorted the food so that it can be used in distribution. Drop off points include Calvary Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church, The Well, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and First Methodist Church and Fellowship Ministry Center.

“Right now, we are short on fruit cups, puddings and chocolate milk,” said Carlton.

It’s a team effort, says Carlton, one which takes a lot of people to be successful.

“We have terrific volunteers,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without the volunteers.”

Carlton said the plan is to continue the deliveries through June 5. Anyone wishing to donate, can mail it to Nourish One Child, 1105 S. Broad Street, Scottsboro, AL 35768.

For more information, on volunteering or donating, contact Carlton by email at

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