Grant covers glucose and blood pressure checks at WJ food pantry

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Messenger photos by Theresa Hennis
Ada Cochran (right), a volunteer at the Good Samaritan Food Pantry in West Jefferson, checks the blood pressure of volunteer Virginia Miller, also of West Jefferson. The pantry offers clients glucose and blood pressure monitoring, as well as Glucerna for clients who have diabetes.

(Posted June 28, 2019)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

The saying, “Charity begins at home,” resonates with Ada Cochran of West Jefferson. Because of her 25 years of nurse tech experience with Ohio Health, she was instrumental in helping her husband, who had Type 1 brittle diabetes, maintain a quality of life that he might not have had without her care.

Cochran continues to put her health care skills to use by volunteering to make a difference in the lives of clients at the Good Samaritan Food Pantry of West Jefferson, which operates out of the basement of West Jefferson United Methodist Church, 36 S. Center St.

The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties issued a $4,000 grant to the pantry this year to provide glucose testing and blood pressure monitoring for pantry clients.

Cochran, who performs the testing and monitoring, said, “The purpose of the grant is to help people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford health care to go to the doctor.”

Virginia Miller of West Jefferson has been a volunteer and treasurer at the pantry for 25 years, and she can’t say enough about Cochran’s diligence in serving the clients and the volunteers.

“Ada has helped many of our clients who didn’t even realize they had health issues,” Miller said. “She even makes sure I get my blood pressure and glucose testing done regularly.”

Cochran also hands out helpful literature on diabetes and blood pressure from Ohio Health.

The United Way grant has already proved its worth for clients who might otherwise have reached a health crisis point without the timely intervention of the testing.

“People come in, and I often catch that they have high blood pressure,” Cochran said. “I call the emergency squad for them if they want me to.”

Sen Barr, a volunteer for 20 years at the Good Samaritan Food Pantry in West Jefferson, pulls food from the stockroom to pass out to clients.

Cochran keeps a confidential log of the clients’ blood pressure and glucose results, and the clients receive a copy, as well.

Money from the grant also helps to provide Glucerna for clients who have diabetes and nutritious food for the young, elderly, and others in need.

The Happy Druggist Pharmacy of West Jefferson donates cards to the pantry to give to clients to use for free diabetic lancets, test strips, and glucose monitors at the pharmacy.

Pantry hours of operation are 2-3 p.m. Wednesdays and 10-11 a.m. Saturdays.

The pantry is open to residents in zip codes 43162 and 43119 (Madison County only), and Canaan Community and Green Meadows mobile home parks.

Identification, proof of residence, and income verification are required.

For more information about the food pantry’s services, call (614) 379-3212.

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