Troup County nonprofit gives out thousands of pounds of meat to senior citizens

Published 10:30 pm Monday, May 2, 2022

Many senior citizens in Troup County had chicken for Sunday dinner thanks to the efforts of Troup County nonprofit Pay It Forward 2K15.

Pay It Forward 2K15 hosted a meat giveaway Saturday for Troup County residents 65+ and sent seniors home with care packages of several kinds of chicken, sausages and even hot dogs, food that the non-profit’s founder, Melissa Neal, hopes will last the seniors for several meals.

Neal along with several other volunteers from all over Troup County started arrived at the parking lot of LaFayette Christian School just after 8 a.m. to set up the giveaway, but a line of seniors was already backed up at S. Davis Road long before, Neal said. 

As senior citizens continued to filter into the afternoon, it was a race against the clock as the rising sun threatened to melt cases upon cases of frozen products. Volunteers  quickly managed to give away every last chicken wing and sausage.

Volunteers like Falandria Maddox, founder of The Tax Group, LLC in LaGrange were glad to help out.

“It’s our job, those of us who are able, to take care of our senior citizens,” she said. “A lot of seniors are on a fixed income and can’t afford things like meat. Everything’s high right now … but it’s our job as citizens to take care of our community.”

Neal, a LaGrange native, founded Pay It Forward 2K15 in 2015 after sensing a need to assist the community she grew up in.

“Our mission is to give back to the people in the community where we live, work and thrive,” she said. “We want to serve as the intercessor between our donors and our community.”

Saturday was her organization’s fourth meat giveaway in LaGrange, Neal said, and one of the main events she organizes that focuses on the area’s senior populations.

“Our senior citizens have to compete with the younger people,” she said. “I received phone calls over the last couple of weeks from senior citizens who are homebound [or] did not have the means to come out. There’s a high level of food insecurity here and whatever we can do to bridge that gap, that’s what we want to do.”

Neal said she’s planning for a possible vegetable drive this summer and a back-to-school event in August for the area’s children. 

To volunteer or learn more about Pay It Forward 2K15, visit https://payitforward2k15inc.org/.