As most people continue to establish a new standard of living during this pandemic, our elderly populations still remain vulnerable to COVID-19.

To prevent unneccesary exposure, O’Neill Senior Center began a grocery box program for 260 local senior citizens. To ensure the program remains viable through the end of June, Marietta Community Foundation has granted $3,250 to this effort.

“Limiting exposure is important to our elderly citizens, but making sure they are being taken care of in the meantime is even more important,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Programs like this help decrease risk and help increase quality of life.”

As COVID-19 began to shut Ohio and the rest of the nation down, the Foundation began formulating a three-part emergency plan. The first part of the plan was to help the local elderly population receive the care and resources they needed during a time of potential isolation.

The Foundation has continued this focus since COVID-19 began by granting funds to organizations such as Community Action, Joe Momma’s Kitchen, and many others, including O’Neill Senior Center.

“Many of the offerings we have been able to provide would not have been possible without the generosity of Marietta Community Foundation,” said Connie Huntsman, Executive Director of O’Neill Senior Center. “It doesn’t matter if we need funding, need a partner, or just need guidance, Marietta Community Foundation has come through for us! Being able to pick up the phone and say, ‘we need help’ – and then getting that magical call that says, ‘we want to help’ – is nothing short of amazing.”

These grocery boxes will include items such as milk, bread, eggs, cereal, pasta and sauce, tuna, crackers, and a large variety of other goods. Each box is valued at $25 and is being distributed by O’Neill’s staff. The grocery box program began when O’Neill Senior Center received initial funding from United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley and Settlers Bank, which has lasted them through mid-June.

The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service, and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.

Marietta Community Foundation works to improve Washington County through grants and initiatives, if you are inspired to help the local elderly receive grocery boxes and prevent risk of COVID-19 exposure, please contact Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or