Helping hands: Weekly distribution of food boxes for area senior citizens resumes

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South Vinemont Mayor Radginal Dodson hands a box of food to a resident Wednesday morning at South Vinemont Town Hall. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

SOUTH VINEMONT, Ala. – Vehicles lined up Wednesday morning at community centers, senior centers and town halls throughout Cullman County, as the weekly distribution of food boxes to area senior citizens resumed. The Cullman County Commission on Aging distributes the boxes as part of the USDA’s Farm to Families program.

At South Vinemont Town Hall, almost 30 vehicles were lined up by 8:30 a.m. Participants said this has been the case each Wednesday since the program began.

South Vinemont Mayor Radginal Dodson was leading the charge this week, joined by Councilwoman Joann Oakley, Town Clerk Kayecea Sasser, Parks Director Mike Graves and resident Lindsey Slaton, passing out boxes in the rain.

Slaton said, ‘The cars started lining up at 6 a.m.”

Each of the 10 distribution locations receives one pallet of 56 food boxes. Fifty of those were given out in Vinemont within 10 minutes. West Point Mayor Gerald Schafer reported in June that he had to turn some people away because they ran out of boxes so quickly.

The next Farm to Families distribution is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, with the food expected to arrive between 9-10 a.m. However, according to Sasser, the boxes have been arriving between 8:30-9 a.m. The Commission on Aging said the times are tentative, as most distributions begin as soon as the truck arrives.

There are no restrictions and no eligibility requirements.

Each box contains 8 pieces of fresh fruit bagged, weighing approximately 4 pounds (such as apples or oranges); 5 pounds of precooked meat, packaged separately (chicken or pork); assorted fresh vegetables, bagged, weighing approximately 4 pounds (such as two potatoes, stalk of celery, two onions and two pounds of carrots); 12 ounces of cheese (such as American cheese); 1 pound of butter; and the equivalent of one half gallon of milk (such as 2 quarts or 8 half pints). All will be packed in a cardboard box measuring approximately 17″ x 13-1/2″ x 8″. 

Distribution locations are:

  • Baileyton Senior Center
  • Cold Springs Community Center
  • Colony Educational Complex
  • Dodge City Senior Center
  • Fairview Senior Center
  • Hanceville Civic Center
  • Holly Pond Guy Hunt Museum
  • Jones Chapel Fire Department
  • Vinemont Town Hall
  • West Point Town Hall

 

The USDA Farm to Families Food Program is part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that was announced April 17. According to the USDA, the program is a partnership between the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services and “national, regional and local suppliers whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products.”

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