For more than two weeks, an elderly woman living in Louisville, Kent., hadn’t set out her trash to be picked up by her garbage collection company, Hometown Hauling. When an employee with Hometown Hauling named Jake Bland caught on to what was happening, it was absolutely heartbreaking.
He knew he couldn’t ignore it. He had to act…
The coronavirus pandemic not only canceled school for students across the country and shut down businesses, leaving people without income, it also meant that one of the vulnerable populations was left without access to food.
Senior citizen centers that serve hot meals to the elderly were forced to shut down, since seniors are considered to be at high risk for the coronavirus.
Programs like Meals on Wheels struggled to provide food to the seniors that rely on them for nourishment because volunteers were worried about getting sick or possibly being asymptomatic and spreading it to the very seniors they were caring for.
The 90-year-old woman on Jake’s route hadn’t put out her trash because she had no garbage to get rid of. The reason floored everyone.
Jake, the company’s operations manager, asked his company’s dispatch to contact the elderly customer. Employee Bernice Arthur phoned the woman who shared her personal story as to what had happened.
“She just didn’t have nothing to eat and that’s why she had no trash to put out there.”
For more than two weeks, the elderly woman had no means to leave her home or pick up groceries due to the coronavirus pandemic. Slowly but surely, she ran out of food.
She was starving.
Hometown Hauling employees couldn’t believe what she told them. It broke everyone’s hearts to discover that she had no way to get out and buy food so she could survive during the traumatic pandemic.
“She has no family, nobody. I said, ‘You do have a family now.’”
Jake helped the elderly woman compile a list of groceries. Then he headed to the grocery store to do her shopping and delivered the groceries that he paid for himself to the elderly woman’s home.
“It was even in a nice neighborhood. You never know what’s going on in your neighbor’s house.”
The elderly woman’s heartbreaking plight illustrates how critical it is to check on senior neighbors and relatives regularly, especially during a global pandemic like the one that has caused such unsettling times due to the coronavirus.
“Had we not reached out to her — she wasn’t reaching out to anyone. It taught me, regardless, check on them. Put something on their porch. Let them know.”
According to CNN, there are numerous organizations spanning the country that are offering meal support to children, families and seniors. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to secure the help that’s desperately needed. A few of them are listed below:
Convoy of Hope delivers meals through partners, churches and community organizations located across the U.S. They have received requests for assistance from more than 40 states.
Operation Blessing has expanded its distribution of food and supplies during the coronavirus after seeing a surge for help of almost 40 percent.
World Central Kitchen‘s founder Chef José Andrés has converted the kitchens in some of his restaurants into community kitchens offering free to-go lunches for those in need.
Be sure to check in on your elderly relatives or neighbors during these uncertain times.
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