RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — Every box that comes out of the delivery van is more than just food, it’s Jessica Cain’s way of serving a hot meal with a warm smile.
“I enjoy putting smiles on the seniors’ faces. I actually go to encourage them, but they wind up encouraging me,” she said.
Cain went from being Randolph County Senior Adults Association’s HR administrator to the nutrition director.
“I needed to get out of the office. I said we’re doing so much here that I want to be a part of being out in the community, building the relationships, getting to know people. I know people by their name now,” she said.
Cain has been in that position for almost two years and takes a hands-on approach to her outreach.
She oversees meal distribution for all the association’s senior centers, Our Place Adult Day Care, and the county’s Meals on Wheels program.
“I work with the caterer which is Golden Corral in Lexington. They do a great job. We work together to create meals that are one-third of the daily value that older adults need every day, and we serve meals Monday through Friday,” she said.
On average, they are serving 460 people across the county.
Cain says COVID-19 has increased the need for service but the silver lining is that she’s seen how the pandemic has brought out the best in her community.
“We’ve had an outpouring of people wanting to give back, so we’ve had people making cards, people wanting to volunteer. We’ve seen so many people wanting to do something,” she said.
Cain says a new source of additional funding has allowed the association to serve more people.
As of this week, it’s estimated that Randolph County Senior Adults Association has served 40,000 meals since March 19.