Jonesborough working to ensure residents are fed, cared for amid pandemic

Jonathan Roberts • Mar 23, 2020 at 8:18 PM

The town of Jonesborough has established a helpline for residents in need of food, emergency transportation and other needs and assistance as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disrupts routines and access to necessities for people across the nation. 

The program had already been in place to help senior citizens in the town get access to needed services, but is being expanded to town residents in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is a partnership between the town, Meals on Wheels, MyRide TN — Jonesborough and the Jonesborough Area Ministerial Association, and began in earnest on Monday. 

Donation drop off is located in the Jonesborough Senior Center parking lot, and is open from 10 a.m. to  4 p.m. Monday through Friday “throughout the health crisis.” Town Administrator Bob Browning said Jonesborough is also looking to add additional donation sites, potentially at local grocery stores. 

What they’re saying: Browning called Jonesborough “a big extended family” and said that, when there’s people in need, “the community needs to respond and that’s what we’re all about.” 

“We have to take care of each other,” Browning said. “That’s the bottom line.” 

Mayor Chuck Vest called Jonesborough “a special place” and said a program like this is “something our area would do.” 

“It’s a different time for almost everyone now,” Vest said. “I think our country has been through some big events many, many years ago, but the vast majority of us have never had to see the anxiety that we see in the faces of our neighbors like we do now.

Asked what he’d like to say to Jonesborough residents going through the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, Vest asked everyone to “stick together and support each other,” and expressed optimism that both the state and federal government would be able to find a solution to help those in need. 

“It’s up to us to make sure we take care of our community here,” Vest said. 

How you can help: In addition to donations, the town is also welcoming any volunteers who’d like to help. To get involved, you can call the Jonesborough Town Hall at 423-753-1030, or the helpline at 423-753-4781. Anyone in need of assistance should also call the helpline. 

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