Volunteer group focuses on feeding seniors during COVID-19 outbreak

Volunteer group focuses on feeding seniors during COVID-19 outbreak
Volunteers with Extend a hand, Help a Friend prepare salad and fruit plates on Thursday at the Climb CDC Family enrichment Center in Gulfport. (Source: John Fitzhugh)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - “This is what right looks like.”

That was how Jeffrey Hulum III described what he saw around him on Thursday at the Climb CDC Family Enrichment Center in Gulfport. A group of volunteers was finishing putting together another 50 fresh salad and fruit plates to deliver to area senior citizens.

Yesterday volunteers with Extend a Hand, Help a Friend distributed 450 of the fruit and salad plates to people from Poplarville to Biloxi. That was after they cooked a spaghetti dinner and distributed them to 360 people.

“Everybody is coming together and making this thing, an actual community-integrated event and taking care of the people that matter most, and that is our youth and our elderly,” said Hulum, CEO of the organization.

They began the week focusing on feeding children who were out of school and potentially missing two meals a day.

With a program to feed those students in place, the volunteer group is shifting their focus on keeping seniors fed.

They are gathering a list of elderly that need meals from churches, the city and other sources. Volunteers from area churches are delivering the meals door-to-door.

They are doing all this work while staying within CDC guidelines of having 10 or fewer volunteers working together at a time.

Their focus is on fresh food.

“We cook it and push it out within 24 to 48 hours," Hulum said.

They have benefited from the recent donation of fresh food from area casinos, but that will run out soon, so they are looking for continued support from the community.

If you are a senior in Harrison County that needs a meal or if you have fresh fruit and vegetables to donate you can contact the organization through Facebook, by telephone at 540-604-8036 or email AT Eahhaf2017@gmail.com.

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