Anyone age 60 or above was able to receive an abundance of free food Friday thanks to the McMinnville-Warren County Senior Center and United Healthcare.
United Healthcare sponsored a mobile food drive which provided $2,500 worth of food to citizens over 60.
Second Harvest Food Bank has deemed Warren County an at-risk county where a high number of people are living at or below the poverty level. According to Second Harvest representatives, Warren County has 8,265 people living below the poverty level. That’s roughly 20 percent of the entire population.
The official U.S. government poverty level defines poverty for a family of four as having income less than $27,000 per year. A family of two is income less than $18,000 per year, and a single person has income less than $13,000 per year.
Volunteers at the Senior Center were able to provide food to over 150 people.
People wanting food registered inside and waited until their number was called before driving their vehicles to the food pick-up area. Several volunteers gathered the groceries and loaded them into the vehicles making this a truly “mobile” food bank.
“Everyone stays in their vehicles. We don’t want anyone getting hurt,” said Senior Center director Cheryl Watson Mingle.
Each vehicle was loaded with boxes of food items including canned goods like vegetables, spaghetti and tuna, potatoes, onions, lettuce, eggs, bread, yogurt, peanut butter, cereal, cheese, bagged salads, and tea.
The Senior Center is fortunate to be able to provide several mobile food drives a year, Friday’s being the first of 2013.
“This is such a good thing. Second Harvest has Warren County targeted as a poor county. They are trying to get as much food here as possible,” said Mingle.
Food recipient William Farless said, “I feel real blessed to receive this food. I appreciate everything the people at the center do for us.”
Volunteer Jean Ann Knudson said, “It really is a great thing. I enjoy volunteering at these. This helps a lot of people.”
The McMinnville-Warren County Senior Center is located at 809 Morrison Street. More information about the services provided can be obtained by calling 473-2982.