Atmore man providing hundreds of lunches a week for students

Coronavirus

ATMORE, Ala. (WKRG) — An Atmore man is spending his free time making lunches for children in need of a meal.

Ernie Digmon has been making healthy lunches for local students for five weeks now, so they can have a healthy meal while school is out due to the pandemic.

“It gives me purpose,” said Digmon.

Digmon is originally from Atmore, he recently moved home and found a job as a bartender. He said he did that for a while, “and then, of course the pandemic hits, and everything shuts down.”

He says he had a lot of free time, and wanted to give back to his community.

“It’s cool to see the kids week after week and they remember me and they’re excited,” said Digmon.

So, he decided to start preparing sack lunches for local kids. He began by making 100 lunches.

“The first week, I just had faith that things would work out and I emptied out my bank account and just did it. And then, some people started coming to me and saying ‘well how can we help,'” said Digmon.

He has been serving hundreds of lunches a week, and this week is aiming to make at least 300 this week. He still packs each lunch himself, with the help of his mom.

“I fed 100, then the next week, I fed 200, then the next week I did almost 230, then 300. I keep doing more and more each week because the more you identify a need, the more a need presents itself to you. So I just keep making lunches every week,” said Digmon.

Lunches each week vary, depending on what all he can find at the store.

“It’s almost a full-time job,” said Digmon. He continued, “I keep doing more and more each week, because the more you identify a need, the more a need presents itself to you.”

He says so many have pitched in to help.

“The goal is to help as much and as often as possible,” he explained.

Which allows him to make more lunches for those in need. “Local school people like school nurses and teachers show up, and they’ll gather some lunches and take them to the rural areas where kids don’t have transportation,” said Digmon.

Digmon and his crew of friends hand out the lunches Fridays at 11 a.m. at the Atmore Farmers Market.

For those who would like to help, Digmon has set up a Paypal account to collect donations to make even more lunches.

He says he eventually wants to make this into a non-profit organization to continue helping his community.

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