GRADD 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/11/13) – The third annual Stop Senior Hunger food drive officially concluded on May 7, as dozens of volunteers fanned out across Daviess and Hancock counties to make deliveries to more than 300 needy senior citizens.

Nearly four tons of canned goods and other nonperishable food items were donated by shoppers at local supermarkets throughout April; and an additional $1,900 in cash was collected.

“We’re overwhelmed by the response,” said Levi Reames, owner of Comfort Keepers of Owensboro. “Once again this year, the community showed its heart for its less fortunate neighbors.”

A national initiative of Comfort Keepers to bring awareness to an often overlooked issue, Stop Senior Hunger was launched in the GRADD region in 2011. Reames’ local Comfort Keepers office partners with Independence Bank, GRADD, Specialty Foods Group, and Canteen Service Company to sponsor the annual springtime campaign.

“This project represents an incredible team effort,” noted Darrell Higginbotham, president of Independence Bank. “It would not succeed without the support of our terrific partners, including Kroger and IGA supermarkets, area media outlets, local schools and civic groups, and dedicated volunteers from the AmeriCorps program and other agencies.”

Local seniors with an income at 150 percent of the federal poverty level or who receive public assistance were eligible to obtain food through this initiative. Many recipients were individuals on GRADD’s home delivered meals waiting list.

“Stop Senior Hunger vividly demonstrates the power of public-private cooperation,” said Jiten Shah, GRADD executive director. “It’s inspiring to see what concerned citizens, businesses, and local governments can achieve, rallying to address an unmet need.”

Recent statistics show that as many as one in seven American seniors lives at risk of hunger—representing a 78 percent increase over the past decade

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