The Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce has partnered with various community organizations to provide relief to business and feed at-risk children.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has been disastrous for our small business and our restaurants have suffered the most,” said Rick Roden, the president and CEO of Mountain Lakes Chamber of commerce, in a press release on the Chamber’s website. “They can still operate at only 50%. This supports our restaurants – Feed a Child Program gives everyone an opportunity to help our restaurants during a difficult time, while also helping feed at risk children in Jackson County.”

Because of the pandemic, more people have experienced food insecurity in 2020, and children are more vulnerable than adults.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing long-term recovery necessitated by the pandemic, the number of individuals experiencing food insecurity is expected to dramatically increase,” said Alicia Powers, managing director of the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University, in June. “This level translates to 1 in 4 children in the U.S. not knowing from where their next meal will come.”

The program is a multi-organization partnership that includes the Jackson County Legislative Delegation, Jackson County Commission, Scottsboro City and Jackson County Schools, Mainstreet Scottsboro, Jackson County EDA, Jackson County COVID-19 Task force, IMPACT Learning Center, and the Food for Thought Program.

The partnership allows a company or individual to donate money. The Chamber of Commerce will then purchase Gift Cards from restaurants and businesses across Jackson County.

Once purchased the gift cards will be donated to the Food for Though Back Pack Program and given to at-risk students who are experiencing food insecurity.

Payment options for the program include invoices, checks payable to the Small Business Relief Fund or individuals and businesses wishing to participate can donate online through PayPal. All donations are tax deductible.

“It’s a win/win for many who need community support more than ever,” said Roden.

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