HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - One hundred South Mississippi senior citizens on a waiting list to receive home delivered meals will get the help they need thanks to a generous gift. The Walmart Foundation presented the South Mississippi Planning and Development District with a $100,000 donation Wednesday.
Once a week, a box of frozen nutritious meals is delivered to the home of a South Mississippi senior citizen. Those who work to help seniors said more are finding their limited incomes don't stretch far enough to pay for everything they need.
"Their Social Security checks. We have so many more that are having to move in and live and depend on other people because they just can't make ends meet," said Thania Averett with the Area Center on Aging. "They're not able to purchase food because of high electricity bills due to our weather on the Coast, or just limited resources of their income."
Walmart Foundation officials say the $100,000 donation reflects how impressed they are by the South Mississippi Planning and Development District and the difference its senior feeding program is making in 15 counties.
Walmart Market Manager Brian Thomas said, "One of the things that they really do well is control costs. To be able to deliver meals for the price that they deliver meals for, to make the money go as far as it goes, is truly outstanding. It's a matter of helping those that have need. They have a waiting list, unfortunately, of people, but they do try to put food in the cabinets of the people who really need it."
Right now a total of 1,200 seniors are receiving meals. Officials said the Walmart donation will help move more people off the waiting list.
"Walmart gave us last year $100,000, and for that it gave us 100 new clients for a whole year," said Lynn Cartlidge, South Mississippi Planning and Development District Board Member. "So we had 100 new clients last year. This will give us a hundred this year. So 200 people that we're serving is more than we can expect."
Officials said deliveries are once a week and each box provides a senior citizen with five days worth of frozen meals.