Non-profits in Smith County announce partnership to deliver grocery boxes to seniors
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - East Texas Food Bank and Food Finders of Smith County are partnering together to provide grocery boxes to elderly residents in need.
“Nonperishable items that are pantry staples,” said Tim Butler, the program services director for the East Texas Food Bank. “Rice, beans, canned proteins like chicken tuna, pork, some cereals, some grains. So, really good stuff that’s not going to rot on your shelves.”
The delivery program is for seniors who live within the Tyler city limits and fall within the following income guidelines:
“They say, 'I’m so glad you’re coming, I’m waiting for you’,” said Jill Hossley, co-founder of Food Finders. “One lady gave us a thumbs up, one lady said ‘God bless you, I’m so happy, so appreciative’. It’s been heartwarming and there is 16 meals in each box, so I feel like they’ll be okay until our next run.”
Geneva Jennings cares and cooks for two seniors in Tyler who had boxes delivered.
“I wish every senior around could get delivered meals [if they] can’t move and walk and provide for themselves,” said Jennings. “It’s a lot of help; the donations are really helpful.”
The program started last week and has already grown in both recipients and volunteers.
“We’ve had people contact us and say ‘what can we do to help’,” said Carol Lee, a co-founder of Food Finders. “We’ve got about 30 volunteers right now to help do deliveries throughout April.”
Lee said the volunteers are currently distributing about 150 boxes per week.
Seniors can call the East Texas Food Bank at 903-617-2046 between 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to sign up for delivery of a box. Voicemails will not be accepted, an ETFB spokesperson stated.
Seniors must be prepared to provide the following information:
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Delivery Address
- Number of People Living in the Household
- Verbal Declaration of Income
Once approved, Food Finders of Smith County volunteers will call seniors prior to delivery to let them know they are in their area. Up arrival, verbal confirmation of the senior’s name is needed.
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