Jail program feeds seniors

Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode stacks canned food on his office conference table Monday. Each contributed food can equals a $1 decrease in inmates bills. The collected food will be donated to needy senior citizens. Photo by MIranda Pederson

Its not a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card, but a Warren County Regional Jail incentive program helped inmates get out a little cheaper.It also helped to feed seniors in Community Action of Southern Kentuckys Homebound Senior Food Program, which prepares holiday care packages. The packages contain three cans of food, a box of Kleenex, a flashlight with batteries or a candle, and a hat or gloves.For the past six weeks, inmates and their families and friends have donated more than 2,000 canned goods to the program. Since inmates are responsible for their stay paying a $20 one-time booking fee, a $20 a day housing fee and any medical expenses Jailer Jackie Strode thought inmates could reduce their bills while helping seniors have food during the winter, he said. In the simplest terms: one can equals to $1 of credit, he said. If an inmate or whoever paid $10 and brought in 10 cans of food, they received a $20 credit towards the inmates bill. Since state and federal governments reimburse the jail for their inmates, Strode limited participation to only county inmates, he said. The jails time participating in the drive was more successful than he had anticipated. I just hoped that the friends and families would see this as a positive way to help the community, and they did, he said. Ronni Cardwell, director of the Foster Grandparent Program, was just as surprised. I was amazed when he called me (Monday) morning, Cardwell said. This was the most weve collected for this particular event. Strode got the idea from the program his church, Three Springs Baptist, implemented in the fall. He then contacted Cardwell about his plans. As soon as the weather clears up, the canned goods will be delivered, Strode said, adding that he is considering continuing the program. The drive, which was also sponsored by Community Education, was part of the agencys Foster Grandparent Programs Make A Difference Day campaign, which stressed spending one day Oct. 27 helping a needy person or family.

Community Action and Community Education dedicated that day to the canned food drive, Cardwell said. Community Educations Anne Grubbs and Cardwell then sent out flyers explaining the program to churches, government agencies, schools and private organizations. Cardwell and Grubbs then extended the Make A Difference day to Nov. 17, and combined it with the National Family Day of Volunteering, Cardwell said.

The response to this was really great, Cardwell said. We had already sent out 130 winter care packages around Dec. 8, using what we collected between Oct. 27 and Nov. 17. Volunteers for the Foster Grandparent Program likely will not have the care packages containing the jails donations completed and delivered by Christmas. But the food will put the program ahead in its mission to help those after the holidays, Cardwell said. Its a bad time to try to get things out with the holidays, she said. But it doesn’t just stop at one day; the need remains.His huge contribution will benefit several hundred families after the holidays.


Staff Writer (2001, February). Jail program feeds seniors. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.bgdailynews.com/jail-program-feeds-seniors/article_83ec9b16-b86c-56b6-a19d-bd68a49c940e.html