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Volunteers spread holiday cheer to seniors

December 26, 2018
Volunteer Craig Olson gets ready to deliver boxes to low-income seniors.

About 220 Skagit County seniors received some unexpected holiday cheer in time for Christmas.

Volunteers with the Commodities Supplemental Food Program — a partnership between Community Action of Skagit County’s adult education program and the Skagit Food Distribution Center — added homemade Christmas cards to monthly food delivery boxes.

The program aids those 60 or older who struggle to afford food.

The group that normally makes stockings to go in December food boxes couldn’t do so this year, volunteer Craig Olson said, so program volunteers got together for a card-making party.

“It was just so these folks know someone is thinking about them at Christmas,” said Olson, who has volunteered with the program for two years.

Olson said he got involved with the program because volunteers played a large role in his elderly father’s life.

When his father could no longer drive, a volunteer took him on errands multiple times a week.

“I thought, ‘I should be doing that,’” Olson said.

He said he decided he wanted to volunteer to help seniors when he retired.

“There’s a lot of things that volunteers do, and a lot more that needs to be done,” he said.

The program delivers shelf-stable foods such as dried rice, beans, canned fruit, cereal and peanut butter once a month.

The food boxes are supplemented with fresh produce donated by local farmers and organizations, Community Action Volunteer Coordinator Tracy Montaron said.

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