Jacksonville's oldest woman among hundreds helped by Elder Source

Positively Jax story highlights elderly and hunger

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There are more than 700 seniors in Jacksonville who are on a waiting list to get food assistance. But thanks to a recent food drive, many of them are no longer waiting.

One of them is the oldest woman in Jacksonville: 112-year-old Blanche Cobb. 

Cobb has raised 13 children and has more than 60 grandchildren and great grandchildren. They're now returning the favor by caring for her.

"You do what you have to do. She did for us. She did for everyone one of us 13 and I'm the baby and I'm 70-years-old," said one of Cobb's children, Shirley Thomas. "So she's done for us and it's never a burden. Never a burden. Never."

Cobb (pictured, right) has lived with her 81-year-old daughter, Mae Shields, since 1982. As they both age, medical costs and other things start to add up.

"Paying bills and what not almost takes everything I have and I don't borrow her money," Shields said. "She keeps up with it."

Something as simple as a small food delivery from Elder Source this week will help out tremendously.

"It helps me a lot," Shields said. "It helps me a lot!"

Once a year, Comfort Keepers gets together with community partners to sponsor Feed Seniors Now: Food Initiative. Cobb is a recipient this year.

When asked if she was happy to be getting food, Cobb replied, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!"

"It's our way of giving back to the community so that we could help seniors have nutritious meals during the day," CEO of Comfort Keepers, Kathryn Murphy, said.

With the help of the students and Comfort Keepers staff, they packed over 2,200 pounds of food that was delivered to Elder Source, then to some of their clients.

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