Elderly Residents Miss Free Feeding Program

For more than six months, Doris Garcia was regularly getting hot lunches delivered right to her front door. But that stopped nearly two months ago after the HOPE Center of North Lufkin dropped its feeding program because of funding cuts.

"I'll just make it," Garcia said. "I don't have a special way to get any food and some days I make a sandwich. At my age, I'm not gon' just sit up and not eat nothin', but I'm not a cooker."

The meals were a big help for Garcia, who was trying to take care of herself and her 97 year old mother who died last year. She knows things will be harder for her now without the free lunches, but knows she'll find a way to make ends meet.

"I still try to do things for myself," Garcia said. "I'm very independent; I hate asking for something, but I do appreciate when somebody helps me."

A lot of the seniors who were getting meals from the HOPE Center don't have money to stock up on groceries. Many others can no longer drive to get their own meals or cook for themselves.

Thelma Pugh said, "I hadn't cooked in the last two or three years, so sometimes I just sit here and wait until they get here with a lunch, which would be about 11:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. Then, I would just take it and eat it and I enjoyed it and it really did help me out."

Seventy-seven year-old Thelma Pugh misses the HOPE Center's help, but still considers herself fortunate.

"I just have to struggle and try to get me a little oatmeal," Pugh said. "Usually, I eat my lunch from the senior citizens center in the afternoon, but the HOPE Center I would look forward to those three days for my lunch."

About 70 elderly Lufkin residents were getting meal deliveries from the HOPE Center when the program ended on February 1st.

For more information about the HOPE Center of North Lufkin, go to http://www.nzbchurch.org/newzionbc/welcome.