CHAPMANVILLE, WV – For the second time in five weeks, Gov. Jim Justice unveiled a fleet of brand-new meal delivery vehicles that will allow more seniors across West Virginia to receive fresh meals in their homes through the State’s senior nutrition meal delivery programs.
The Governor debuted the new vehicles during an unveiling event today at Thornhill Ford near Chapmanville.
A total of 27 new 2020 Ford Explorer meal delivery vehicles will be used by County Aging Programs for Meals on Wheels Delivery across West Virginia, providing a much-needed boost to senior nutrition efforts by replacing aging vehicles currently in use.
“Today is a really special day,” Gov. Justice said. “Think about how important this program is. It’s easy to lose sight of just how lonely it can be for our seniors and to be able to see a smiling face and have a warm meal is just incredible.
“A lot of times, the folks who deliver these meals and our seniors become best friends,” Gov. Justice continued. “They become the kind voice in the dark. Really and truly it is unbelievable what a service they provide.”
Gov. Justice was joined by West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Commissioner Robert Roswall along with additional speakers for today’s announcement.
“I want to thank you, Governor Justice, for your continued support of the seniors of West Virginia,” Commissioner Roswall said. “Back in 2019, in your State of the State address, you committed millions of dollars to our senior nutrition programs and I can tell you today that your commitment is showing results. We no longer have 800 seniors waiting to get home delivered meals.”
“Our oldest vehicle is a 2004 and our newest is our 2009. We’re currently doing, roughly, 150 meals per day and on the winding country roads, especially in Mingo County, it means a lot,” said Tim Salmons, Executive Director of Coalfield Community Action Partnership Inc. “We want to thank the Governor, the Legislature, the Bureau [of Senior Services] for their support all these years. This will make a big difference in the lives of our seniors.”
“McDowell County is a rural little place and we send, out of two centers, about 184 meals,” said Kim Varney, Nutrition Coordinator at the McDowell County Commission on Aging Inc. “This is really a blessing to get these because we’ll reach so many more people. So, on behalf of McDowell County, thank you Governor, thank you Legislature, because it’s really going to be appreciated by a lot of seniors.”
“The reason I put all those resources into programs like these is because I felt we needed to put a stake in the sand,” Gov. Justice said. “I said, by God, we’re not going to forget those that have given so much to us and we’re surely not going to leave them hungry.”
In August, Gov. Justice also debuted a fleet of 16 new Ford F-150 trucks, which utilize hot and cold food storage systems, for use in senior nutrition meal delivery programs.
After today’s event, a total of 43 brand-new food delivery vehicles are now on West Virginia roadways, helping more senior citizens receive more meals faster than ever.
“Our wonderful seniors have given every one of us so much over the years and things are especially difficult today with this terrible virus. Think about how difficult it would be for a senior to decide to go to the store right now,” Gov. Justice said. “I thank all those who are connected, in any way, to serving and helping our seniors, including our Legislature. It means so much.”