UPDATE: Avondale couple serving breakfast to schoolkids despite funding
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: The local couple who serves breakfast to Hamilton Co school children are back at it this year despite a lack of funding.
Dorothy and Chris Rolle tell Channel 3 they started serving breakfast again Thursday morning despite a fear last month they wouldn't have enough money.
After that story aired, a local woman started a GoFundMe page and has raised close to $2,000 for the couple to continue the breakfast bus stop ministry.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Avondale couple who feeds local schoolchildren breakfast says they don't have the money to do that this school year.
The Rolle family says they spend about $3,500 a month out of pocket on breakfast food and the cost has caught up to them after two years of the Avondale breakfast stop.
The City of Chattanooga Zoning Board gave them a permit to sell produce and clothes at an open air market second location to try and save enough money to continue the breakfast tradition. But Christopher Rolle said he doesn't have an estimate on when they might have enough money raised.
Rolle estimates they served between 60-100 children every school day last year.
You can contact the Rolle family at 423-771-5181.
PREVIOUS STORY: An Avondale couple, committed to feeding underprivileged children in their neighborhood, are having to fight for a permit to continue their ministry.
We've been following Christopher and Dorothy Rolle for nearly three years; they say they're once again facing opposition for trying to serve breakfast to those in need.
"We fund it; we do all of the work. It's only the two of us. We don't get help from anyone else. We do get a few donations but for the most part all of the work has been on us. All the finances have been on us," said Christopher Rolle.
Every morning during the school year, Dorothy and Christopher Rolle wake up in the wee hours of the morning to feed the children, who are hungry for breakfast, love, and attention. "We make sure we do all that we can to make sure they get the ministry, the prayer, the support. When they're cold we try to keep them warm, when hungry we try to feed them," said Rolle.
Fulfilling every need they're able; but the Rolles say they believe not everyone in the community is happy about the work they're doing, after complaints rolled into city hall and they were cited. "We were told we needed a special permit and we weren't aware of it. So we filed for it and we didn't know we'd face so much opposition," said Rolle.
They say community members want them gone and don't want the permit granted. The permit would allow them to sell produce and socks, which would help fund their breakfasts. "They know there is a desperate need in this community, no one has stepped up to do it," said Rolle.
The Rolles are happy to provide, but without the extra money; "Well I've got a big board and I'm gonna write on it, ‘sorry children, no funding, no money, no breakfast this year," said Rolle.
Though, over the years, the Rolle’s have provided the children with much more than meals, providing coats in the winter and even reaching into their own pockets to buy school supplies in some cases. "It's heartbreaking, it's disturbing," said Rolle. "They're not hurting me and my wife, they're going to be hurting the children and the people we serve."
The couple says they don't know why they are getting so much opposition for just trying to help those who feel hopeless, but it's a sight they can't stand by and watch. "We're not going to stay here if we don't get the permit. We're gonna be outta here because I can't look at those children everyday across the street and know that I can't provide for them," said Rolle.