One Halifax County family is bringing some sunshine to community members during the COVID-19 pandemic with their meal delivery service.

Mallory Wilson of Cluster Springs and her two daughters, 10-year-old Sophie and 8-year-old Madi, started delivering meals during the pandemic after schools closed in March.

Mallory, who is a teacher at South Boston Early Learning Center, wanted to teach her daughters life lessons outside the classroom while helping community members in need at the same time. She and her daughters deliver between 35 and 40 meals to residents throughout the county every week. Sophie and Madi help their mother prepare the meals, which she believes has taught them responsibility.

“We prepare a meat with two sides and a dessert and bring it to them,” Mallory said. “We usually make some type of casserole or even some things that are grilled. Their favorites are pinto beans.”

She believes the main thing the meal delivery service has taught her children is compassion for others.

“It’s taught them to have a loving heart and learn more about people who might not be just like us,” Mallory said. “Some of the people we serve are in need, some are elderly, and some are widows. They might not necessarily need a meal; they might just need someone to love on them. To see a complete stranger loving on them, I think it has meant a lot to them.”

Mallory added that some of the people that she and her daughters deliver meals to do not own a vehicle to drive to the grocery store and/or have no way of cooking themselves a meal.

Graham Sumner, 90, of Cluster Springs, said he looks forward to the Wilson family’s meal delivery every week. Without that service, he would not have any home cooked meals to enjoy.

“I live by myself. I don’t do much cooking,” Sumner said. “If I can’t put it in the microwave, I don’t make it,”

Even more than the food that Mallory and her daughters deliver, Sumner said he enjoys the company they provide.

“They’re very nice when they come around. I enjoy seeing them, whether they bring food or not,” Sumner said.

Mallory said some of the people she and her daughters deliver meals to need them to do other things for them such as check the mail. Whatever the people need, she and her daughters are glad to do for them. She explained the ultimate goal for her children is to teach them the Christian message of having a servant’s heart.

“I wanted to teach them what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” Mallory said.

Along those lines, Mallory, Sophie and Madi often wear T-shirts during their meal deliveries with the phrase “Be the Sunshine” on it. That phrase alludes to the message in Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

While Mallory and her daughters do the work of preparing and delivering the meals, she said she has had a lot of financial support from local churches, friends and family to keep the meal deliver service going. She said the service started with people privately messaging her about people in need of meal deliveries, and it has grown from that point.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.