Last summer a lady came to Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission’s Coshocton Senior Center to inquire about their food programs. She had just turned 60 years old, and after working all of her adult life was recently laid off from her job. She had never had to ask or accept any help from anyone, but found herself in a desperate situation. She simply didn’t have enough money to go around and food was one of the things for which she just didn’t have much money.

The Coshocton Senior Center has continually strived to serve the senior population with their needs, and food programs like home delivered and congregate meals, as well as the Commodity program and Mobile Market program play an important role in helping seniors get the nutrition they need that they may very well not get if these programs weren’t available.  As this senior was familiarized with the services during intake, she began to cry, thankful that she would receive the help she needed. Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action signed her up for the Commodity program (for which they have a waiting list), which provides shelf-stable food boxes that are distributed to seniors. In 2013, the program delivered 2,856 food boxes containing 93,294 pounds of food. This senior was relieved to know she could receive fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, bread, etc. through the Mobile Market program right away. She also started coming in to the Center for meals and made some new friends.

After participating in some of the programs, she had an interest in volunteering and started helping distribute food with the Mobile Market program. She felt proud to help others that were in similar situations and this was her way of giving back. She has since found another job and no longer needs assistance, but she has thanked the Community Action Agency many times for helping her during a difficult time in her life. She also knows more about their services and can let others know what is available. Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland feels very fortunate to play a part in helping to meet the needs of their seniors and are so happy for this particular senior and her success story.

For more information about Community Action programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org. Note, not all Community Action Agencies offer these programs.

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