Produce box distribution program resumes

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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JACKSON – Northampton County’s Office of Aging continues to provide an array of services to senior citizens throughout the county. Theresa Scott, Director of Aging, shared details of that work with the Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on Sept. 7.

Scott provided an overview of different programs the department is hosting, including chronic disease management workshops, caregiver support group, grandparents raising grandchildren support group, SHIIP presentations, and more. They will also be participating in the upcoming Roanoke Valley Aging Expo in Roanoke Rapids.

“We are proud to announce that we’re resuming our free produce box distribution this month,” Scott added.

To qualify for the distribution, she explained that participants must be Northampton County residents 60 years or older and are willing to participate in a future congregate meal site.

She also announced that the Senior Center, located at 110 Ridgecrest Lane, Jackson, has an onsite fitness room available for senior citizens to use. A medical clearance form is required beforehand.

The Office of Aging is also continuing its home delivered meals program, but Scott said more help is needed.

“We are in need of volunteers for our home delivered meal program, so I encourage you all to ‘be a dear and volunteer’ today,” Scott said, adding that help is especially needed in the Gaston, Woodland, Rich Square, Jackson, and Seaboard areas.

Board Chair Charles Tyner asked if that program had increased in the number of participants. Scott answered yes, so they’re working hard to be able to continue meeting the requirements of the program.

“We are such a rural county and stretched out so far,” she said.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner asked if transportation was the issue in getting volunteers.

Scott explained that volunteers have to provide their own transportation, but the main problem recently has been that several of their previous volunteers were older adults as well, and many have had to give it up due to health issues.

Deliveries are made one day a week.

Scott concluded her presentation by requesting approval from the commissioners to accept a $3,614 grant from Roanoke Valley United Way, which will go towards the home delivered meal program.

Commissioner Kelvin Edwards motioned to approve, and Faulkner provided the second. The vote was unanimously in favor among those in attendance. Commissioner Nicole Boone was unable to attend the meeting.

Tyner thanked Scott for her work in growing the county’s senior program.

In 2019, the JW Faison Senior Center in Jackson shut down due to financial struggles. That organization was a standalone nonprofit and was not affiliated with the county’s local government. With the building left vacant, the county worked to acquire the property, and managed to do so in early 2021. After renovations, the building is now used to house programs from Northampton County’s Office of Aging.