HAMPTON ROADS, Va. -- In 2008, Pastor Kenneth Basknight was shocked to learn of a huge problem facing senior citizens in his community. Many of them were hungry.
'"We have some stale, molded bread that we toast that we scrape it, and that's what we're using right now,'" Basknight said one of his elderly neighbors told him.
"It just blew my mind," the pastor said. "I had no idea it existed. No idea. I said, 'God I've got to help.'"
Golden Age Food for Life
That conversation started Basknight on a mission to feed as many hungry seniors as possible.
Eventually, he started Golden Age Food for Life, an outreach program that "provides free food to senior citizens who are ineligible or receive little to no help from Social Services," according to the ministry's website.
Once a week, the pastor and his team of volunteers pack donated food to deliver to 70 to 80 needy seniors across Virginia's Hampton Roads region each week.
"Out of every senior that we fed, they either had $12 to $15 or they were denied food stamps for the month," Basknight said.
"This is a complete care package. It has tuna fish, corn bread, gravy, fruits, string beans, black eyed peas, Uncle Ben's rice , macaroni and cheese and it's all complete," Basknight told CBN News.
Many elderly residents who live alone are grateful for the help.
"Thank you for bringing (the food.) I can sure use it," one recipient said.
Not by Bread Alone
Prayers are also part of the deliveries.
"We knowledge that the food came from you, God," one volunteer prayed. "We're just the vessels that delivered it."
"I was finding out as I was walking in the door they would say, 'I'm so glad to see you. I've missed you," Basknight said.
"It's not the food," he explained. "They would always say, 'I just want this prayer, this fellowship' and most of them had nobody to come and see them."
An Answer to Prayer
John and Deloris Lincoln are both blind. John lost his sight after a stroke, and diabetes has caused Deloris to lose her sight. They live on a fixed income and struggle to put food on the table.
The Lincolns are like millions of seniors across the country who have to make the tough decision whether to buy groceries or pay for their medications.
"It cost $170 for 90 pills. It has not been filled yet. Now it's there waiting. I haven't gone and picked it up," Deloris said.
The couple says the food deliveries are an answer to prayer.
"The Lord said He will never leave us, never forsake us," John said. "He said he would open doors that no man can shut, and it's been just that way when things was tough. The Lord been having the brother coming here, blessing us."
Overcoming the Obstacles
Basknight admits delivering those blessings has not always been easy, saying there's been "obstacle after obstacle."
"I remember one day we were delivering and we had no gas," he recalled. "We had enough gas to get started but not enough gas to finish the route."
Basknight said the people like the Lincolns are what keep him going.
"Watching them after I leave, their refrigerator's full with food, and knowing that they don't have to worry about their medicine -- that's the thing," he said.
*Originally posted May 19, 2011.