Local non-profit entities and private businesses have teamed up to provide emergency food and water to some homebound people in the event of a disaster.
ElderCare Inc. in Great Bend got the ball rolling a few months ago and worked on the project throughout the summer. The non-profit agency has received grant funding and commitments for support from local businesses.
Tina Mingenback, ElderCare nutrition site manager, began the grant-writing process in May.
“I am thrilled to say we are now able to start assembling our emergency boxes,” Mingenback said. “We hope to have them all packed and ready by mid-October.”
The boxes will contain a few basic food items, juice and water. ElderCare’s homebound clients in Barton, Pawnee and Rush counties are eligible to receive one box a day for up to three days.
“This new project will help ensure a food supply to our vulnerable population,” Mingenback said. “Those who are homebound are at great risk during a disaster such as an ice storm, tornado or flood. We help people with their nutritional needs every day with our Friendship Meals, but we want to provide an extra boost during an emergency.”
A donor-advised fund at the Golden Belt Community Foundation showed its support with a $1,500 grant; the fund is called the Barton County Quality of Life Endowment. Another $1,500 came from Great Bend’s Walmart.
In addition, the Great Bend Main Street Dillons, Larned Dillons and Walmart have pledged to provide food, juice and water at their cost.
These donations will result in 600 emergency boxes, with the potential to help approximately 200 ElderCare clients.
“All of us at ElderCare are so grateful to these generous donors,” Mingenback said. “They can be assured their generosity will directly help people who cannot help themselves during a natural disaster. The community should commend them for their willingness to help with this new program.”
The boxes will be stored at Senior Centers and volunteers will deliver them at the appropriate time. Volunteers from Senior Centers in Great Bend and Larned are packing boxes now.
Mingenback noted she is seeking more grant money so the program can be expanded into other communities in ElderCare’s 28-county territory. She also is available to share ElderCare’s story with civic clubs.
For more information, contact Mingenback by calling 620-792-5942.