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Army National Guard helps feed county senior citizens

Soldiers deliver 20,000 meals

April 9, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

Chuck Glagola, right, and other volunteers assist the Army National Guard in unloading shelf-stable meals at the Butler Township Volunteer Fire District Thursday. The guard delivered two truckloads totaling more than 20,000 meals that will be distributed to area seniors in need.

The cavalry has arrived in Butler Township.

The Army National Guard arrived at Butler Township Fire District No. 6 on Thursday with 20,000 meals to support senior citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

Beth Herold, director of the county Area Agency on Aging, said the shelf-stable meals will be stored at the fire district on Victor Road, and agency personnel will access them each day for distribution to county residents aged 60 and over who need meals.

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Each senior who requests meals will receive seven meals each week, along with bread, milk and lunchmeat provided through a partnership between the Agency on Aging and Sharp Shopper.

Herold said before the pandemic, the agency had a list of 112 seniors who received a box of food once a week for their seven daily meals.

“Now, with the coronavirus, we have almost 500,” Herold said.

She said the state Department of Aging called her when the coronavirus broke about three weeks ago and asked how many shelf-stable meals the county could use for its seniors.

After calculating the seniors in high rises and other independent living facilities, plus those in private homes receiving meals, Herold told the Department of Aging that 10,000 meals would hold them over.

“They said 'We'll bring you 20,000,' ” Herold said.

Herold also wants to help adults younger than age 60 who are also in need of meals, since schools are providing meals for youths and her agency is helping seniors.

“You have this group in the middle who could use a little bit of help, too,” Herold said.

Herold bought pizza for the National Guard members who delivered and unloaded the boxes of food at the fire station.

“Well don't you think they deserve it?” she asked with a smile.

Seniors in need of meals can call the Area Agency on Aging to be screened for eligibility from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 724-282-3008.