ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — During the pandemic, it was really difficult for senior citizens to get out and shop for groceries. So Pinellas County non-profit organization took matters into their own hands and hit the road delivering food to older adults there.
The Gathering of Women, Inc. in St. Petersburg donates groceries to senior citizens four days a week.
“To see the older people, the senior citizens face when I present them with the food, it’s just like joy that shoots up in you. You feel like you really made a difference,” said Dannie Williams, a volunteer driver with the organization.
They provide older adults with all of the grocery staples like fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs. “We try to give them a little of everything. You know, we try to give them a complete grocery list,” said Williams.
These free groceries go a long way in helping to stretch the money many of these senior citizens have. “The money that I’ve seen some of the senior citizens receive, you know, it’s barely enough to survive and all this does is enhance the little money that they get,” said Williams.
They serve about 500 households and do delivery and pickups.
Samantha Richardson-Hardy is the president of the organization. She says they started donating food in April of 2020, right after the pandemic began. “Our seniors weren’t able to leave their homes,” said Richardson-Hardy.
Now, however, they have one problem. She says they started out with a grant, but now they depend solely on monetary donations and volunteers. “We need those types of volunteers who are willing to go throughout the county to deliver and volunteer on-site. We really need hands-on volunteers,” said Richardson-Hardy.
Even though the organization is called The Gathering of Women, everyone is welcome to help. “We’re the ‘Gathering of Women,’ but we also need men volunteers. Sometimes they see the name “The Gathering of Women” and they feel, ooh, that’s only women that can come help. No. We need men to come in and help too.”
If you would like to volunteer, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website here.