Senior grocery program in Meigs County - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Senior grocery program in Meigs County

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Rhonda Tucker, Meigs Commissioner & Chairman of the Sr. Center, " the first time we did this, I had people come through the line and actually cry"

It isn't a traditional grocery store, but these 100 seniors in Meigs County are ready to pack their buggies full of food.  It's a day they and the assembly line of volunteers look forward to each month.

"To see such joy on these people's faces, to take home some food.  It makes such a difference."

Shoppers like Patsy visit each station and hand-pick the food they will eat for the next month.

Patsy McCarty, shopper, "you're able to eat now where before you were scrimping just to pay a bill, it's life changing"

Ruby circles the shopping date on her calendar every month.

Ruby Colbaugh,shopper, "it's like going to the grocery store without having to pay."

With the help of a $40-thousand grant from AARP.  The food bank began this mobile grocery shopping program which includes fresh produce.

A selection of meats and protein and variety of can goods and other items the shoppers get to pick for themselves.

"I got so much I can't name all of it"

This program provides the shoppers the equivalent of 50 nutritious meals each month, something many of them might not have without the grocery program.

Jane Petit, AARP Volunteer Director, "1 in 5 seniors have food insecurity where they don't have enough food to eat or they miss at least one meal a day."

Mary Newberry, shopper, "we done a lot of times without. But this has been a life saver."

Because now that Mary has a cart full of groceries, she'll be able to pay for medicine and utility bills.
"It's just been God's blessing that we are getting this.  I've never seen anything like this in my life."

And as Patsy nears the end of the line with a buggy full of food, she knows every donation to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, no matter how big or small, can make a huge difference.

Patsy McCarty, shopper, "really we just had Christmas again. This has changed our life."

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