A local nonprofit is helping to keep hungry older people fed in St. Johns County

Delivering food and company

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Phyllis Wood is the senior project manager for Pie in the Sky Community Alliance, a nonprofit aimed at helping low-income older people.

“Currently we’re serving 430 seniors, today we’re going to be serving 212 of those 430 seniors. That’s our job. We know that fresh fruits and vegetables are good for everybody, but they’re really good for seniors,” Wood said.

St. Johns County may be one of the wealthiest counties in Florida, yet Wood told me that more than 6,000 older people are struggling to get enough to eat.

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On Monday we spotted her loading up bags filled with food from Waste Not, Want Not, a food pantry in Orange Park.

Waste Not donates about 5,000 to 7,000 pounds of food each day to those in need.

All the food inside its small building is surplus food that has been rescued from local grocery stores.

Rather than throw out the food, grocery stores will donate food that may have minor blemishes or be close to its expiration date.

Because of COVID-19, Pie in the Sky was forced to put its deliveries on hold for the safety of its older volunteers.

"We had to protect our seniors so we made the decision to stop, to study, to learn, to understand the whole time we were doing that, we were in constant contact with all our seniors," Wood said.

She said it’s not just about the food.

Pie in the Sky has been helping older people

through the pandemic as they deal with the loneliness of being isolated.

“That puts seniors into hospitals and we look at our job as keeping seniors out of hospitals, because when we do that we’re part of a community,” she said.

She said getting to visit the older adults while out on deliveries puts a smile on their faces, and even dropping off flowers helps to keep local older people healthy and happy.

For more information on how you can donate https://www.pieintheskystjohns.org/donate.html