Volunteers prepare Thanksgiving food baskets for seniors

Published 5:45 am Monday, November 21, 2022

Three hundred and fifty homebound senior citizens in Southwest Louisiana had Thanksgiving food baskets delivered to their homes this weekend.

This is the 16th year the Calcasieu Council on Aging and Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex have come together to provide the homebound senior community with all of the necessary items needed to prepare a proper, easy-to-prepare holiday meal.

Megan Hartman, Phillips 66 public relations director, said the annual event is one the organizations hold dear to their hearts.

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“This is a rewarding project our employees and their families look forward to each year,” she said.

For the volunteers, it is paramount that time and care is given to older citizens during the holidays.

“Many of the residents we deliver to are alone and isolated during the holiday season,” she explained. “It is an important door knock to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving holiday and it warms our volunteers’ hearts, as well.”

Jackie Green, executive director of the CCOA, said the gesture has shown to benefit elderly residents over the years.

“Delivering food to our homebound senior community is very important during this time of the year. It helps to fill their holiday with love, care and compassion,” she said. “It helps to reduce their feelings of isolation and loneliness and provides sustaining.”

She said human connection is the most important thing one can give to others.

“Having someone personally wish you a Happy Thanksgiving means so much to those who are alone,” she said. “Not only is the food important, but the interaction is also life

The homebound seniors who received a basket were selected from the CCOA’s list of homebound seniors.

“Recipients were chosen from the Council on Aging’s waiting lists for persons waiting to receive meals and also from various organizations and social service organizations throughout the community,” Hartman said.

Green expressed her gratitude for the partnership.

“Our aging community is oftentimes the forgotten group,” she said. “We are extremely grateful for Phillips 66, our community partner, and their employee volunteers for using their time and resources to help us reach each home. It seems as though it’s so little, but it means so very much to the seniors.”

Deliveries were made by volunteers from Phillips 66, alongside Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s deputies. The volunteers started deliveries early Saturday morning, and covered the areas of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, Moss Bluff, Iowa, Starks and Vinton.

Every recipient received one bag with frozen items and one box with dry goods. Deliveries included: two cornish hens, one dressing mix, two cans of corn, sweet peas and jiffy cornbread mix, one bag of rice, one can of chicken broth, one 24-ounce can of yams, one package of brown and serve rolls and one single-serving dessert.