MARION COUNTY, Ar.- The Marion County Senior Activity and Wellness Center is seeking funds to replace a Meals on Wheels delivery truck totaled in an accident in mid-December.
“We deliver in Paytt,” said Christine Jenkins, the director of the Marion County Senior Center. “He was coming back from there and a deer crossed the road, and he swerved and the truck went out of control and flipped a couple of times.”
Jenkins says the driver is now recovering from his injuries at home.
Now Jenkins only has two vehicles to deliver food across their region’s seven different routes. To make matters worse, Meals on Wheels delivers meals to those who can not leave their home due to disabilities. Many are in the high risk demographic for contracting the coronavirus.
“These people are scared to go out because of the covid, so it’s so important for us to get them a hot meal, or to get them that frozen meal daily. They just look forward to us, you know they wait at the door for us to come. It’s really a sad situation right now, but we try to make them stay home. We want them to stay home in their own home, so we provide the meals to try to keep them independent.”
Angie Dunlap, the director of Senior Center Services for the area, says that many Northwest Arkansas senior centers have been closed to the public during the pandemic, but some are still providing nearly 400 meals a day to seniors. “Because of covid-19, our senior centers have been closed for the last 9 months, 10 months, so we’re kind of having to adapt how we’re serving those who need meals.”
Today, while the Marion County Senior Activity and Wellness Center was handing out curbside meals, a special donation towards a new truck was delivered by Stan and Tootie Hasman.
“We, as a couple, use to come here quite a bit when it was open, and they would have music,” said Tootie. “They’re in need of money. We can afford it and want to share.”
“The community has really come together and for somebody to stop here and hand us a check for the truck fund, is just, I can’t even put it in words,” Jenkins began to explain as she was overcome with emotion. “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a whole county to feed the seniors. And we just, I appreciate every single dime we get for this.”
You can donate towards a new Meals on Wheels truck for the Marion County Senior Activity and Wellness Center by sending a donation to P.O. Box 728 Flippin, AR 72634, or by donating via their website, https://www.aaanwar.org/locations/detail/1433