For over two weeks in Louisville, Kentucky, an elderly woman hadn’t set her trash out by her local garbage collection company, Hometown Hauling. Jake Bland, an employee from Hometown Hauling had noticed what was happening and what he found out was absolutely heartbreaking.
He knew he couldn’t ignore what he saw and knew he had to act.
The coronavirus pandemic has ultimately changed the way we go about our lives. We canceled school for students across the country and shut down businesses, leaving people wondering where their income will come from. Not only were people struggling for income, but the vulnerable population would be wondering how to get their next meal.
Senior citizen centers serving hot meals to the elderly population were forced to shut down due to them being considered in the high-risk category for coronavirus.
There are programs like Meals on Wheels which provide food to seniors. Since the pandemic, they’ve struggled to provide nourishment due to volunteers’ concerns about getting sick or being possibly asymptomatic and spreading it to the seniors in their care.
This 90-year-old woman hadn’t put out her trash because she had no trash to get rid of, since she had no food.
Everyone was heartbroken to hear this reason.
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 over two weeks, this elderly woman had no way to leave her home or even to pick up groceries because of the coronavirus pandemic. She eventually ran out of all her food.
She was all alone and 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.
Chef José Andrés is the founder of World Central Kitchen. This chef has converted kitchens in some of his restaurants into spaces for community kitchens offering free-to-go lunches for those in need.
People like this bring communities closer in these uncertain times. Make sure to check in on your elders and neighbors, you never know what they could be struggling with.
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