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Sen. Joe Morrissey holds food giveaway for Petersburg seniors: 'This is a blessing'

Posted at 5:12 PM, Apr 16, 2020

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Thanks to a massive giveaway, dozens of Petersburg senior citizens stocked up on food and vitamins on Thursday morning.

"Thank God for it, that they are able to do it and help us," said Linda Moss.

State Senator Joe Morrissey was behind Thursday's food giveaway which included 20,000 pounds and 30,000 worth of free food.

"It means a whole lot to me,” said Lillian Mallory, who is out of work since schools shut down.

"There's a lot of families that are out of work that can't make it or don't have the money to buy what they need and for him to do this, this is a blessing.”

Morrissey focused Thursday's efforts on three senior citizen facilities.

"They have pre-existing conditions and many of them are 60 and up, the most vulnerable folks in Petersburg,” said Morrissey.

City leaders says they are very aware of what could happen if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in one of the three facilities.

"This is one of our spots of grave concern that we want to address first,” said Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham.

Morrissey says bringing food to the residents is key to their safety.

"So, they don't have to go out and put themselves in a predicament,” he explained.

It’s a welcome relief for many seniors like Mallory.

"All kinds of vitamins, all kinds of snacks, it's things that people really can use without going to the store,” she said.

Senator Morrissey says he's like to see a food distribution in Petersburg every week or every other week.

The Victory Christian United Church of Christ Food Bank in Ettrick also received a hefty donation Thursday.

"This is definitely needed,” said Delna Pope, who volunteers at the food bank.

We have twice as much as we had starting out this morning,” said Pope.

The food bank is now seeing more people when they're open on Tuesday and Thursday Mornings

"It's usually been our regular folks, now we're seeing people we've never seen before. You know, coming in and they getting the food, it's just going really fast," said Pope.