Senior center reports ‘most successful’ food drive for church food pantry

HOOVER – The COVID-19 pandemic might have changed the methods in which charitable acts such as collecting food for those in need are carried out, but it has done nothing to diminish the community’s spirit and willingness to contribute.

Evidence of such spirit showed at a drive-thru food drive the Hoover Senior Center hosted to help stock Green Valley Baptist Church’s food pantry on the morning of Monday, Nov. 16.

“This was our first year for the Hoover Senior Center to host Thanks for Giving Drive-Thru Food Drive,” Senior Center Manager Dana Henson said. “Although we have collected canned food items in years past and have partnered specifically with Green Valley Church over the last three years, this by far was our most successful. We were truly overwhelmed by the generosity of each person who contributed.”

Participants donated about 780 boxed and canned good items, along with 120 hygiene items, to go toward serving 80-100 people in the community.

“It was great getting to watch the reactions of the faces of the participants when they were in turn treated with pre-packaged cider and honey and small pies compliments of our sponsors Brookdale Senior Living Community and Right at Home,” Henson said. “This was collaboration at its finest.”

On behalf of the GVBC food pantry, Stephanie Landry thanked participants for their contributions.

“This will go so far for our Christmas open day,” Landry said. “We’ll have about 120 or so families show up, so this will be a nice addition to what we buy from the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.”

Henson said the Thanks for Giving drive was the senior center’s third drive-thru event, but it will not be the last during the pandemic.

“It’s a unique way to be able to connect with our members and to give all of us something to look forward to while staying safe and socially distanced from each other,” Henson said. “We have seen attendance from 115 to over 145 members at each of these events, which is so encouraging.”

The senior center’s next drive-thru function will be held Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 10-11:30 a.m. with festive surprises in store for members.