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Fill the Truck pivots to help older citizens obtain groceries, essential items

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 31, 2020

CINCINNATI — Fill the Truck, known for loading trucks with donated items for populations in need throughout Cincinnati, has pivoted its business to focus specifically on delivering donations to older citizens who may be too nervous about COVID-19 to leave the house for essentials like groceries and other items.

Doctors and experts have said the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly dangerous for aging populations, particularly those with pre-existing conditions. Nancy Green, with Cincinnati's Council on Aging, said she's seen an uptick in calls to their organization from older residents searching for ways to get the things they need while staying safely in their homes.

"A lot of fear," said Green about the calls they've received. "Afraid to go out to the grocery store; a lot of anxiety about that."

Green reached out to Kelly Ackerman with Fill the Truck, to determine whether the organization would be able to help. The organization typically takes donations in Springdale during Thanksgiving and Christmas for underserved populations throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. In just three days, Ackerman had a new campaign launched, designed specifically for essential items for older residents.

"I think it's a scary time for everybody, but at the same time, we know that's the population that's probably the most scared and the most vulnerable," said Ackerman.

People interested in helping out can visit the organization's website to donate items like toilet paper, dish soap, pet food, soap, non-perishable food items and more. Donations of physical items can also be dropped off at Frame USA on Northland Boulevard in Springdale, where the organization has a drop-off site set up. Ackerman's team will disinfect the items before delivering them to those who need it.

"People can drive by and put it in a bucket. They don't even have to come in," said Ackerman.

She added that the only real challenge to this campaign will be finding the goods they need in the stores. They're hoping to pack the truck with 7,500 boxes of goods to supply aging populations with everything they need, so they don't need to leave the house.

"If you're a senior and you need any assistance at all...call the Council on Aging, and we will be able to get you assistance with food, with personal care products, whatever your needs are," said Green. "This is a very frightening time and we're all in this together."