A new Samaritan Outreach Services program will deliver food to homebound Highland County residents once a month as long as they meet the program guidelines.
“People that have already found a way to get to us are not the people we’re targeting,” said Wade Hamilton, Samaritan Outreach director. “We’re looking for people who can’t get to us.”
The program is completely new. Hamilton said he’s not sure how people it will serve, but he guessed it would be around 30 to 50.
Starting May 2, Samaritan Outreach staff and volunteers will begin serving three monthly routes through Highland County to drop food and miscellaneous household items to residents in need.
Hamilton said those able to use the program will receive basically three meals a day for three days, or about 14 pounds of food, for each person in the home, once a month. But he said he knows many people that Samaritan Outreach serves who are able to make the food last longer.
Homebound households must meet income limits set by the The Emergency Food Assistance Program, reside in Highland County, and provide a physician’s statement to be eligible for services.
Residents in the northern half of the county will receive deliveries during the first week of each month, the southern half will receive deliveries the second week of each month, and city of Hillsboro residents will receive deliveries the fourth week of each month.
“There’s no public transportation in the area and that makes it really hard for some people who have no way to get around,” Hamilton said in explaining why Samaritan Outreach initiated the new program.
Each delivery week Samaritan volunteers will take phone orders on Mondays, pick and pack orders on Tuesdays, and make deliveries on Wednesdays. Hamilton said people involved in the program will be able to order from a list of items that include vegetables, fruit, starches, potatoes, proteins, breads, sweets, breakfast items and “pretty much the whole gamut.”
Applications for homebound delivery can be requested by calling 937-393-2220 or can be obtained on the Samaritan website at www.ourpantry.org.
The income guidelines are as follows: For a household of one the limit is $22,979 per year; for a household of two it’s $31,019; for a household of three it’s $39,059; and add $8,040 annually for each additional household member.
“This program is something that the Samaritan Outreach volunteers have been very passionate about. With such limited transportation options available in the county, we hope this will be a real asset for some of our rural friends and neighbors,” Samaritan board member Tracy Abrams said.
Samaritan, formed in 1989 by the Rev. John and Jean Carson, operates as a charity food pantry in the Highland County area funded primarily by community grants and private donations. Eligibility for services falls within the guidelines of federal income levels.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.