Sieda Community Action has the Silver Bells Program for seniors in Wapello County. The program provides a food bag from Sieda and other donations. Plus, a bag of gift items for men and women from the Grace Church.


For 2020, Sieda served over 800 seniors in Wapello County with our programs [1]. A large portion of the seniors (60+), Sieda aids, are automatically qualified for Heating Assistance (LIHEAP) due to being on a fixed livelihood (ex: SSI, SSDI). Also, the senior’s income stays the same every year. That means a single person below the 200% income level is making less than $25,760 a year, or for two people, it is $34,840 [2]. For that reason, pre-qualified low-income senior households have the chance to sign-up for the Silver Bells Program.

Community in Action!

This program is a joint effort due to several businesses and Grace Church.

First, the orange bags of food are put together with our funds and donations. We are thankful to John Deere and Southern Iowa Electric for their financial contribution towards the food. Likewise, thanks to Fareway for handling our large food orders. Principal Financial Group of Ottumwa staff were kind enough to give their time once again this year to help pack the orange food bags. Thanks for your hard-work year after year. 295 households received bags with even more food this year. Items included were ham or turkey, canned vegetables and fruit, broth, gravy, noodles, dessert items, potatoes, butter, and stuffing.

Second, Grace Church in Ottumwa filled their green (men’s) and red (women’s) bags with warmth. The great people at Grace bought and packaged for men and women mittens, socks, and blankets. They prepared 129 men’s and 201 women’s gift bags. With a few more than expected in the program, with 360 individuals. There was a great need again this year.

The distribution was a drive-thru again this year. Thanks to our staff and other volunteers that helped make it a success!

Thank You

We received many thank yous, smiles, and appreciation from the seniors that picked up their gift bags. Around 270 seniors in the Wapello County Silver Bell Program live by themselves. Another way Sieda and the community can show we care and let them know they are not alone.