Senior Nutrition changes with COVID-19

The South Central Human Resource Agency Senior Nutrition program is a huge daily undertaking during normal times.  We have 20 sites across the 13 county region that serve or deliver a hot meal five days a week; typically feeding on average 6100 meals a month through the congregant program and 9000 meals delivered each month.   In addition to the amazing kitchen staffs in both Fayetteville and Hohenwald who prepare the food we also have great site managers that take that food and get it ready for the seniors that come and eat at the site as well as the meals that are to be delivered.  Finally, we have our dedicated, irreplaceable volunteers, many who are seniors themselves, who give their time to deliver those meals to our home bound clients.  Now, add COVID-19 and our world, as well as our clients has been turned upside down.   Specifically for our volunteers, the new socialization rules were going to have the possibility of being an issue during this time.  We have a number who are considered at risk themselves and their health and keeping them safe was a top concern.  The importance of this program cannot be understated.  There have been many studies done showing the importance of regular human contact and connections, as well as having access to at least one nutritional meal a day.  Each of our 20 sites normally offers both of these 5 days a week.  For those that come to the congregant sites, being able to see friends daily is an important part of staying healthy.  For our home bounds clients, sometimes our meal delivery is the only contact they have with someone else daily. 

Needless to say, when the state went into shutdown mode, making sure that our senior clients continued to get their meals was at the top of our priority list.  We have a number of our home bound clients who are reliant on the SCHRA food program for their daily meals so not continuing was not going to be an option.  Number two on the priority list was the safety of our staff and volunteers in continuing to fulfill this important job.  Our last site shut its doors on March 20th  for congregant meals. Those who had previously been coming to the sites to eat were given the option of being added to the delivery list or coming to the sites to pick up their meals each day.  While it was not our first choice, in order to keep everyone safe, we began delivering frozen meals to those who normally received hot meals that were to be reheated at home; with the plan to figure out how to resume safe delivery of a hot meal as quickly as possible.  During the month of April we tried to deliver hot meals but did not always have the volunteers available to get those meals where they needed to be in a timely manner and had to return to the frozen meals.  With the help of our staff as well as site managers and the numerous volunteers who stepped in from the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD), on May 4th we were able to return to the normal hot meals for our clients.  This would not have been possible without the cooperation from TCAD and we are incredibly grateful for their help.

In the month of March, we served and delivered approximately 16,000 meals.  In April we delivered 11,052 meals and in May we delivered 14,477 meals.  Right now we do not have a date for being able to resume congregant meals on site however any senior that would qualify to have a meal at a site can sign up to have a meal delivered or come to the site to pick up a meal each day.  We have a drive through congregant program active at each site. 

We are still looking for additional volunteers to deliver meals so if you or anyone you know might be interested in helping out the seniors in their community, please contact Sara Brown at 931-433-7182, ext. 1150.



Ruby, site manager for the Lincoln County Meal site, readies the lunches that are to go out.

Head Start / Early Head Start Policy Council Meeting




Condensed Quarterly Commodity Distribution Wraps Up

Normally, the Commodity Distribution program at South Central Human Resource Agency is conducted every quarter, two counties each week completed in just about a 2 month time frame.  Due to the COVID-19 virus and how it has affected our families and communities, it was decided that this quarters' distribution would be done a bit differently.  Rather than two counties a week, we have covered all thirteen counties in just a little over three weeks.  This change was a result of wanting to get food into each community as quickly as possible in order to help the families in each county.  As we come to the end of this quarters distribution, I think we can consider it a success.  It has been super busy and sometimes hectic, however, without the help and dedication of our incredible groups of volunteers and staff in each county we would not have been able to make it work and have it be the success that it was.  


Perry County Commodity Distribution

Thank you to all of the volunteers and staff that came out to help us at the Perry County Commodity Distribution event.  We were able to help over 150 families with non-perishable foods.  We were thankful that the rain held off so that we could be there to support the families and community.



Marshall County Commodity Distribution

We had a great turn out in Lewisburg from our amazing group of volunteers and staff as well as families coming out for assistance.  From our distribution point at Hopetown, we loaded up nonperishable food boxes for 180 families.  We had great group of young men that included Isaiah, Kavares, LaQuinton and LA that loaded up vehicles quickly.  We are also grateful to have State Representative Rick Tillis join us in helping to support the families of Marshall County.




Lincoln County Commodity Distribution

Our Commodity Distribution was a family affair in Lincoln County.  Since Fayetteville is Headquarters for SCHRA we were fortunate that in addition to our great volunteers, we had a large number of staff able to come and help out too.  Some of those staff members brought out some of their family members to help out as well.  Everyone was kept busy as we helped to support 235 families with nonperishable food boxes.




Hickman County Commodity Distribution

The rain held off once again to allow us to get to work supporting the families in Hickman County with nonperishable food distribution.  Thank you to our great volunteers and staff that made the day a success.  We were visited by 133 families in Centerville and we were glad to see them.




Giles County Commodity Distribution

It may have been raining and cool but that did not stop the wonderful volunteers and staff that came out in support of the families in Giles County.  We were grateful to have Giles County Mayor Melissa Greene join us in putting together bags that were loaded up into the vehicles.



SCHRA Headquarters would like to thank all of our incredible volunteers and staff for all of the hard work, in all kinds of weather, to make sure that this quarters Commodity Distribution a success.  Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for the dates, time and locations for next quarters events.



1437 Winchester Hwy
P.O. Box 638
Fayetteville, TN 37334

South Central Human Resource Agency’s mission is to provide low income individuals and communities access to educational, economic, nutritional, and social services that promote and encourage self-reliance through our partnerships with local, state and federal resources.