Food boxes

On Dec. 19, the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department delivered food boxes to elderly shut-in residents in the greater Hartsville area.

To make the holiday season a little brighter, the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department ended 2022 by delivering food boxes to several elderly Hartsville area residents, because, for many, trying to put food on the table amidst skyrocketing inflation has become difficult, especially during the holidays.

Each year, through generous donations, the sheriff’s department delivers the food boxes before Christmas with a variety of items that will last into the new year.

“The sheriff’s department delivered 60 food boxes to elderly residents this year,” said Trousdale County Sheriff Ray Russell. “We try to concentrate mostly on elderly people who are on fixed incomes. As we patrol around throughout the year, we try to think of people who are in need and take down their names. At the end of the year, we deliver (the food boxes) to them.”

Trousdale County Jail Sergeant Austin Ford added, “We delivered the food boxes mostly to elderly people who were not able to get out and buy food on their own.”

According to Russell, it is in cooperation with Foodland that a local anonymous donor contributes most of the money each year to cover the cost of the food boxes that the sheriff’s department delivers to area residents.

“We have one person in particular who donates most of (the money), but he does not want his name mentioned,” said Russell. “He tells us to go out and get whatever we need and to do as many boxes as we need. Then, (he) tells us to send him the bill. He pays for all the food.”

This year, the food boxes contained items for Christmas dinner, as well as canned goods and other non-perishable items with longer shelf lives.

“We wanted to ensure that they had everything they needed for Christmas,” said Trousdale County Sheriff’s deputy Travis Blair. “This time, we delivered eggs, bread, a turkey, a lot of non-perishable foods like canned foods or beans, things like that.”

But, as indicated by Russell, the sheriff’s department works behind the scenes with not only food box deliveries, but also with other undertakings that help support the local community throughout the year.

“We do a lot of things that people don’t realize behind the scenes,” said Russell. “Last year, when we had all the snow, we picked up people who worked at the nursing home and the hospital, (and) we took them to work and then took them home again. Plus, we do a lot of things for the elderly who can’t get out, like picking up their groceries or meds.”

Blair added, “It is good for the community to understand that we are not just out writing tickets. We are actually involved in the community. We mainly do this to help the community out as much as we can, especially elderly people. This helps make our relationship with our small community stronger, and I think our relationship with them is excellent.”

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