St. Nick made an early delivery in Rock Hill on Monday, with a “Santa Express” of 9,000 bags of fresh fruit for area seniors in York, Chester, Lancaster and Union counties.
Hundreds of area home-bound and low-income seniors who receive home-delivered meals will enjoy the fruit this holiday season, thanks to the combined efforts of The Springs Close Foundation, Walmart and Second Harvest Food Bank.
And just like old times – when she volunteered for decades to bring food to the homebound – Anne Springs Close, , the foundation’s chairwoman, helped deliver the food Monday.
“Any little bit extra that people can get at Christmas, it is wonderful,” said Springs Close, 90, who stopped volunteering only because she could no longer drive. “The people at Second Harvest and Walmart, they are amazing in how many they help.”
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That help began Monday on Wylie Street in Rock Hill, as one of the York County Council on Aging volunteer home-delivery meal routes was taken over by Springs Close and Kay Carter, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, which serves five South Carolina counties.
“I am so thankful to receive it,” said Dorothy Pendergrass, 93, who has been homebound for more than two years. “The people are so nice, and I thank them for the food and their friendship.”
Springs Close and Carter marched right up to door after door with meals, fresh fruit and an endless supply of smiles.
Second Harvest’s “Santa Express” is designed to give even more help to pantries, seniors, soup kitchens and other non-profits. The goal for the food bank is to make sure that no hungry person is without nutritious food, Carter said.
The foundation is the continuation of the giving legacy of the Springs Close textile family of Fort Mill, who owned and operated area textile mills for decades, employing tens of thousands of people for generations. When the economy went into recession in 2008, the foundation directed its efforts on providing food for needy adults and children.
Since then, the foundation has supported Second Harvest and other groups that assist those in need. The Springs Close Foundation sponsors the backpack food program in Fort Mill schools, as well as much of the senior food program.
Home-delivered meals are vital for senior nutrition, said Wendy Duda, executive director of the council on aging.
Walmart – the largest single donor to Second Harvest – is proud to be able to help people, said Kurt Herkert, market manager for Walmart in York, Chester, and Lancaster counties.
“We love to do good deeds,” he said.