4th Annual Stop Senior Hunger Drive Underway

Published 03/24 2014 05:38PM

Updated 03/24 2014 05:53PM

A Meals on Wheels Association shows nearly 1 in 6 senior citizens are at risk of going hungry. It's a trend that's gone up dramatically in the past decade -- even in western Kentucky. Now, an annual drive is underway to help seniors and help fight the problem.

Keeping the cabinets full is getting more and more difficult for some senior citizens like Jerry Barnett.

"It's pretty low sometimes," he says.

He, and more than 500 others, will soon get a week's worth of food for free from the Green River Area Development District. It's hosting the 4th annual Stop Senior Hunger food drive, a drive some say is greatly needed.

"I had worked for an agency at one time and I dealt with a lady who just couldn't make ends meet every month. It was just a problem for her," says Claretta Fentress, Jerry's friend.

More western Kentucky seniors are seeing emptier cabinets and fridges. They're on a fixed income that often can't keep up with rising prices.

"It's been a challenge because grocery bills are getting higher all the time," Barnett says.

"We have folks who choose between groceries and medications or utilites every month," says GRADD In-Home Services Manager Jennifer Williams. She says a third of their clients have to choose between food and medicine.

"It's an esteem issue at times because anybody would want to take care of themselves, pay their bills, buy their groceries. It can really give them a boost to not worry as much about that," she says.

"It's been a lot of help," Barnett adds. "It's helped pay the bills."

And it helps keeps the cabinets and their stomachs full.

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