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Food drive bumps up goal

From left, Parkersburg News and Sentinel Publisher Jim Spanner, FaithLink Program Director Melissa Ogden and Comfort Keepers of the Mid-Ohio Valley CEO David Yeomans pose with a collection barrel for the 12th annual Feed Seniors Now food drive Tuesday in the newspaper lobby. Photo by Tyler Bennett

From staff reports

PARKERSBURG — With increased need expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have ratcheted up the goal for the 2020 Feed Seniors Now Food Drive.

After shooting for and exceeding 2,000 pounds of food the last two years, Comfort Keepers of the Mid-Ohio Valley is asking the community to help supply three times that amount for seniors in need. It’s not out of the question, after residents contributed more than 5,000 pounds in 2019.

“For seniors in our community, living the highest quality of life starts with having their basic needs met.” said David Yeomans, CEO of the local Comfort Keepers franchise, which provides in-home care for seniors and other adults. “We cannot fight every factor affecting hunger, but we can start here in our community by creating awareness about the issue, collecting and distributing donations and educating families about the signs of hunger and malnutrition in their senior loved ones.”

According to a release from Comfort Keepers, the pandemic and measures to prevent the spread of the virus have decreased access to senior services.

The 12th annual food drive will utilize a variety of donation and distribution methods to help people contribute and receive food safely. Comfort Keepers is once again partnering with FaithLink, which coordinates volunteers to help people age 60 and older with a physical disability or chronic illness maintain their independence.

Monetary contributions can be made online via a pinned post on the Comfort Keepers of the Mid-Ohio Valley Facebook page or by checks mailed to Comfort Keepers at 148C Gross St., Marietta, OH 45750. Donors are asked to write “Feed Seniors Now” on the check’s memo line.

Folks can also order food online and have it shipped to Comfort Keepers.

As in years past, collection bins will also be set up at various locations in the area, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Donation sites are:

• The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, 519 Juliana St., Parkersburg.

• Brick Insurance, 2404 Camden Ave., Parkersburg; and 900 Front St., Marietta.

• Professional Radiator and Tire, 1910 12th Ave., Parkersburg.

• Belpre Dental Studio, 218 Maple St., Belpre.

• St. Mary School, 320 Marion St., Marietta

“The Parkersburg News and Sentinel is excited about once again teaming up with FaithLink and Comfort Keepers for this wonderful cause, to support people in need in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Jim Spanner, publisher of the News and Sentinel and The Marietta Times.

Food will be distributed through FaithLink food pantries at senior high rises, Meals on Wheels and senior center outreach programs, the release says.

Comfort Keepers offices around the country are participating in the Feed Seniors Now campaign, which also emphasizes education about diet and nutrition.

“There are things that seniors and their families can do to ensure that nutrition needs are being met,” said Joanie Yeomans, chief operating officer of the local Comfort Keepers. “In addition to talking with a health care professional, one of the best things that families can do is eat meals together and make family dinners a social occasion.

“Finding budget-friendly, nutritious food and shopping together can also help. And there are options for seniors that need extra assistance getting groceries or preparing meals,” she said. “Comfort Keepers caregivers can help with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and support for physician-prescribed diets.”

More information is available by contacting the Comfort Keepers office at 740-373-7125.

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