Morristown — Every Saturday morning, volunteers pack dozens of grocery bags with enough food to feed anyone who walks through the door of the Food On Foot warehouse in Morristown.
Carolyn Jarnagin started the organization 12 years ago after meeting a little boy who told her he wasn't excited about school letting out for summer vacation.
"I got excited, I said, 'oh, you like school?' He said 'no mam.' I couldn't figure it out. Then, he went on and said, 'you know why I like to go to school? They feed me good at school.' I didn't want to fall apart on him, but I almost did," Jarnagin said, adding that she went home and told her husband she wanted to do something to help other children like him.
"I said, 'I'm going to take money out of savings and make food bags on the weekend.' Well, I made 40 and ended up taking most of them home. Now, look, we do more than 1,000 a week," Jarnagin said.
No one has to qualify to receive one of the bags, and when people come through the line to collect food and toiletries, they say they feel like family.
"[One woman] said, 'you don't make people feel like they're getting a handout. And, that's what we want. We want them to know we love them," Jarnagin said as a little girl walked up beside her to get a hug before her family left. "Oh, I think they feel like they're coming to Grandma and Grandpa's house," Jarnagin laughed.
Jessica Shelton, 18, said she's lined up at Food For Foot nearly every weekend since she was little.
"When I first started coming here, I was homeless and didn't have a way to get food on a daily basis. [Jarnagin] helped me. She took me under her wing and called me hers, and I've been coming ever since," Shelton said. "She got me to dance again and sing again."
Jarnagin said that in the past decade she's been serving the homeless, she's searched for the little boy who sparked the idea.
"I've never found him. I hope one day God lets him know how his conversation with me, how God used him," Jarnagin said.
In addition to the weekly food bag distribution, Food on Foot also delivers food to area schools and collects Christmas toys and pajamas.
If you're interested in volunteering, you can call Jarnagin at 865.566.5778.