VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A South Daytona woman is working to help those in their greatest times of need by making sure both their heart and belly stay full. 

What You Need To Know

Maria Davila, the founder of Healthy Souls International Inc., spends her days with her team packing grocery bags full of essentials to deliver across the Volusia County and sometimes even the world.

“Healthy Souls started with inspiration, you know, from doing mission trips with our church to going to third-world countries to teach first aid and CPR and then Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and that is when we were introduced to the disaster relief part of it,” said Davila. 

Davila organized countless drives, gathering more than 4,000 pounds of donations for Puerto Rico and even more for the Bahamas as they recovered from Hurricane Dorian.

She even went down and delivered them herself. But what people did not know is what Davila was dealing with herself, after a car crash left her injured and jobless.

“I was homeless for 10 months and two days while serving and delivering aid to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and when we started the COVID program,” said Davila.

Despite her own challenges, Davila stepped up to the plate when the pandemic started, making sure the most vulnerable in Volusia County never went without a meal. 

So far, using non-contact delivery, her team has gotten 80,000 meals to seniors, those that are compromised, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“It wasn’t always easy, it was very challenging but it gave me a reason to keep going. It just gave me purpose to get up every day and be thankful for the things I do have,” said Davila. 

It is an effort Davila plans to continue and hopes to expand if they are able to get more funding. 

“We had 40 households we are serving now to this week bit there are still another 300 that would like to be in the program and we just don’t have the resources,” said Davila. 

“It just encourages me personally to want to keep doing it because I know we are really making an impact,” said Davila. “I just think everybody should do their part”