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Senior Center teams with Avalon Hospice for food drive
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Avalon Hospice is partnering with the Senior Center for an ongoing food drive. All nonperishable items are needed. Pictured are Avalon employee Monika Lewis, left, and Senior Center executive director Lana Whitlock.

When she accepted the job as Senior Center executive director last month, Lana Whitlock never realized what the most popular Bingo prizes would be.

She said basic household items like paper towels, toilet paper and laundry detergent are the prizes participants cheer about the most when they win.

“We need to be here for our seniors,” said Whitlock, “because some of them are on a really tight budget.”

The Senior Center and Avalon Hospice are in the midst of a food drive to replenish the Senior Center food pantry. The Senior Center distributes the food, typically a supply that will last 2-3 days, on an emergency basis.

All nonperishable items are needed. This includes such food bank staples as peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, rice, canned meat, pasta and oatmeal.

“We give out fruits, vegetables, potatoes and items like that through the Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Whitlock, who indicated 41 families were helped during the most recent Second Harvest distribution.

The Senior Center food bank is in addition to the Second Harvest program.

Avalon Hospice has conducted a food drive for 15 years, according to Avalon employee Monika Lewis. She said local Avalon employees selected the Senior Center as their food drive partner this year.

“There are seniors in our community who need the food,” said Lewis. “We want to do as much as we can to stock the shelves and help our seniors.”

Lewis said she has been well impressed with Whitlock and her vision for the Senior Center since she became executive director in late July.

“We want to help her make the Senior Center what she wants it to be,” said Lewis. “She’s doing a great job.”

The McMinnville Warren County Senior Center accepts food donations throughout the year, but the food drive is a way to draw extra emphasis to the need for food.

Donations can be dropped off during regular Senior Center hours at 809 Morrison Street, across from Boyd Christian School in Westwood. The Senior Center phone number is 473-6559.