Recently, Upshur County Commissioners Sam Nolte, Kristie Tenney and Doug Bush, along with Upshur County Assessor Dustin Zickefoose, made a donation of a truck to the Upshur County Senior Center's Meals on Wheels program. Also pictured is Upshur County Senior Center Director Tracie Thompson and Senior Center Board members and employees. / Photos courtesy Upshur County Senior Center

County, assessor’s office the driving forces behind Upshur County Senior Center’s new Meals on Wheels truck

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Senior Center recently welcomed a significant enhancement to its food delivery capabilities with the acquisition of a truck last week.

The Upshur County Assessor’s Office generously donated the truck and received approval from the Upshur County Commission to do so. Additionally, the Commission allocated $2,000 to support the Meals on Wheels nutrition program, which operates in conjunction with the newly acquired food delivery truck.

The decision to donate the food truck was made to enhance the delivery of meals to senior citizens across the county.

County Commissioner Doug Bush highlighted the tangible impact of this donation.

“The senior center’s meal trucks are used to take meals throughout the county at scheduled, prearranged points to reach seniors,” Bush said. “The new truck breathed new life into an aging and deteriorating fleet, which had been fast approaching the point of replacement due to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

A notable facet of this development is its positive impact on seniors residing in outlying areas of Upshur County, where transportation resources are limited.

“Most of our Seniors live outside of Buckhannon, so transportation becomes even a bigger challenge for our rural seniors,” Bush said. “Reaching them has become a goal of our Director and of our Board’s.”

Bush said the donation underscores the commitment of the Senior Center, the County Commission, and the County Assessor’s Office to address the unique needs of its rural senior population.

“We are very thankful and appreciative for both donations from the Upshur County Assessor’s office and also the Upshur County Commission,” said Upshur County Senior Center Director Tracie Thompson. “We are also very thankful that the Upshur County Commission and the Upshur County Assessor’s office have shown our Upshur County seniors matter and are an important part of our community.”

The combined efforts of the Upshur County Commission and the Assessor’s Office demonstrate their shared commitment to fiscal responsibility and improving the quality of services provided to Upshur County residents, according to Bush.

“Our Commission and Assessor’s Office have always looked to save costs and improve service to all the citizens of our county. Taking good care of our county equipment so that it can be used again down the line of need is an example of that leadership working,” Bush said.

The financial support allocated by the County Commission will be used to move the food storage box from the broken truck to the donated truck, ensuring that seniors continue to receive their essential meals without interruption.

“The next phase of our plan would be forming a Meals on Wheels route for the Rock Cave/French Creek areas,” Thompson said. “This truck is going to make that route happen and moves us one step closer to our overarching goal of meeting the needs of every senior in Upshur County.”

The Meals on Wheels menu for each month can be found at www.upwvsc.org/nutrition-center. The Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels program has three routes that deliver every day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those routes include:

  • Main Route (City of Buckhannon up to a 5 mile radius of it (through Tennerton, etc.)
  • Route designated for the Buckhannon Manor
  • Hodgesville Route

Another photo of the senior center newly acquired meal delivery vehicle.

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