By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Senior centers in Escambia County have been delivering 695 meals a day to citizens who are age 60 or older. Now the county commission has taken a huge step in helping to increase that number.
In a significant move to enhance the vital service, the commission — using funds from the American Rescue Plan — recently approved the purchase of and took delivery of five brand-new Ford Escape cars.
According to a press release from County Administrator Ron Cink, the purchase marks “a crucial step in ensuring that the county’s elderly population receives nutritious meals promptly.”
Cink said the decision to invest in the new vehicles was approved by all five commissioners — Steven Dickey (District 1), Raymond Wiggins (District 2), Larry White (District 3), Brandon Smith (District 4) and Karean Reynolds (District 5) — and demonstrates the county’s commitment to improving the efficiency and reliability of meal delivery services to the county’s senior citizens.
“Our seniors are having a tough enough time with inflation on medicines, pharmacies and food,” the county administrator said. “This helps those shut in. We’ve been driving vehicles that were leaving our folks on the side of the road, and repairs were more than the darn vehicles were worth. This should help.”
The new Fords will be driven by a team of veteran drivers: Virginia Overstreet, Tiffany Smith, Sandra Nall, Nancy Barton, Cheryl Newburn and Amy Hicks.
“Their commitment to the well-being of senior citizens in the East Brewton, Brewton, Flomaton, Wolf Log, Friendship, Atmore, Huxford, Little Rock and McCullough communities is truly commendable,” Cink said of the delivery drivers.
Sheila Brown, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, said the new cars would be a valuable tool in the effort to provide essential services to the county’s seniors.
“We are thrilled to share our excitement about the county commission’s decision to purchase new vehicles for the Agency on Aging,” Brown said. “This investment not only enhances our ability to deliver hot meals to individuals over 60 but also underscores the community’s commitment to supporting our seniors.
“The new vehicles will undoubtedly contribute to the efficiency and reliability of our services, allowing us to reach even more individuals in need. We look forward to continuing our mission of providing essential services to seniors, and these new vehicles will play a crucial role in achieving that goal.”
She extended her “sincere gratitude” to the commission for “recognizing the importance of this initiative and for their dedication to the well-being of our senior community.”