Winona Assembly of God helps seniors in need
Winona Assembly of God has only partnered with Ozarks Food Harvest for three years, but this distribution site has made a world of difference for seniors struggling with hunger in Shannon County.
Once a month, about 130 seniors gather at the church to pick up Senior Food boxes. Each box contains an assortment of nonperishable food items that help seniors get the nutrition they need.
“It really means a lot when the people getting food tell us how much they appreciate it and how much it helps them,” said Bill Brawley, distribution coordinator at Winona Assembly of God.
Those who receive boxes are 60 or older, and most live alone. The majority of these seniors receive social security or retirement checks, but it’s not enough to make ends meet each month.
The distribution is run completely by volunteers. Some are members of the church, and others are simply community members who enjoy helping out every month.
“Everyone involved in our distribution is a volunteer. We’ve had a great group from the beginning. We have five to seven volunteers at each distribution,” said Bill.
In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ozarks Food Harvest has continued to provide Senior Food boxes for partners who are able to distribute them.
Winona Assembly of God has adapted to the situation to keep the food, volunteers and individuals receiving boxes safe.
“We set up the operation outside. Participants are instructed to stay inside their vehicles until the truck is unloaded and we are prepared to start handing out boxes,” said Bill. “They are asked to stay six feet apart in a designated line. They don’t touch anything until it’s placed inside their vehicle.”
Bill is optimistic about the future of Winona Assembly of God, and he’s thankful for the volunteers who help serve so many individuals in need every month.
“We appreciate Ozarks Food Harvest for distributing food to our county. This helps us continue to serve a great group of people here,” he shared.
Want to learn more about our Senior Food program? Click here.