For Wapello County, Sieda provides seniors with a gift and food bag for the Sieda Silver Bells Program. Every year Sieda Community Action has hundreds of seniors (60+) that automatically qualified for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Due to the seniors living with a fixed livelihood that will not change year to year. That means a single person is making less than $22,330 a year, or for two people, it is $30,170 (175% poverty level). For that reason, these pre-qualified low-income senior households have the chance to sign-up for the Silver Bells Program. 

Since COVID-19, Sieda has made many changes to how we distributed items. As a result, this and other distributions have been drive-thru. In December, Sieda handed two bags to seniors at the Sieda Wapello County Resource Center. This year we had an orange bag of food and a bag of gift items for a total of 290 homes with 333 individuals.

First, a brown gift bag to add a little warmth and cheer from Grace Church in Ottumwa. The great people at Grace bought and packaged for men and women mittens, socks, and blankets. 

Second, the orange bags from Sieda supplied food for a Christmas meal. Items included were ham, canned vegetables and fruit, broth, gravy, noodles, Jell-O, potatoes, butter, and stuffing. We have several community businesses that donate time and money to the orange food bags.

Thank You

Sieda Silver Bells Program was a success because of the help of our partners. Alone Sieda’s gift of food would not have been as impactful as the final group outcome. Several partners help donate financially or with their time to the food bag. For instance, the Principal Financial Group of Ottumwa contributed their staff’s time and energy to assemble the food bag. Even this year with COVID-19. Thanks for your hard-work year after year. 

Plus, thank you to John Deere for their generous donation and Southern Iowa ElectricTheir contributions help with the cost of the food. Furthermore, we appreciate Fareway for taking care of our large order. 

We received many thank yous, smiles, and appreciation from the seniors that picked up their gift bags. Many of the Silver Bell seniors, 290, live alone; this is just one way to show them that the community cares.