Jenkins County residents shop in “seniors only” store for free

Seniors take advantage of free food giveaway in Jenkins County.

MILLEN, Ga. (WJBF) – Seniors in Jenkins County can prepare the dinner table without worry this week, after a local organization created a grocery store just for them.

Several people walked into the Millen United Methodist Church and prepared a box full of groceries picked out by shoppers themselves.

This free food giveaway was for seniors only.

Cealia Kirkland, who lives in Millen, was excited about what she can soon prepare.

“As long as it’s eatable. I have a good appetite,” she said.  It’s a blessing to help old people like me because I don’t get no food stamps.  When I do go to the store and I look at items that I would love to have, with my income, I can’t pay for them and I have to choose something else.”

Jenkins County Family Enrichment Center took thousands of pounds of food from Golden Harvest Food Bank and created a grocery store complete with shopping carts donated from BiLo. The organization teamed up with local businesses such as The Cotton Gin and Cliett’s Confectionery to offer more food. Some seniors were bused in to shop. Others stopped in on their own.

“We wanted to give the senior citizens and the elderly the chance to come in and shop where it wasn’t just that they handed them something that maybe they didn’t want. We wanted them to be able to come in and choose,” said, Elaine Williams, the director of the center.

Edna Golff works with people who are homeless in Millen and she took time to shop as well.

“Tuna, which they can get out the can. You don’t have to cook it,” Golff said.

She came to shop in order to make sure others without food have three meals a day.

“The vegetables. You can eat those raw, many of them,” Golff said. “They don’t have to be cooked. We also got some sugarless cookies.”

Seniors took advantage of a sweeter deal too, knowing someone else cares.

“We are a caring community,” Williams explained. “We love our people. And we all believe in helping one another.”

“[It is] More convenient for me,” said Kirkland. I can come here and y’all fix me a grocery box and I can take it and go home. It [isn’t] like me trying to push a walker and try to push up and down an aisle in the store.”

There will be another free food giveaway for seniors Wednesday at Millen United Methodist Church, 413 N. Gray Street. It will be held from 10 :00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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