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The 42nd Honeybee Festival dedicated to giving local seniors access to healthcare

Seniors are going through an unprecedented struggle. See how the Hahira Honeybee Festival gives back
Posted at 8:46 PM, Oct 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-03 20:46:53-04
  • Adults aged over 65 have experienced a 3.4% increase in poverty over the last year.
  • The 42nd Annual Honeybee Festival's second day hosts a senior walk to raise awareness about diabetes and other health issues.
  • Watch the video to see how the Hahira Lions Club is helping local seniors.


Today is a beautiful day, so I decided to take a stroll with some Hair seniors for the senior walk at the Hahira Honeybee Festival this week.

I'm Malia Thomas, YOUR neighborhood reporter for Valdosta, and I took a small trip to Hahira to see how they're helping seniors for their 42nd annual Honeybee Festival.

"My favorite part is... food."

Meet Eleanor Walker. She has participated in the senior walk and other Honeybee Festivals activities since its inception. Her mother, Eula Copeland, was instrumental in the festival's creation.

"She always loved it very much, and it's just something I do."

Tuesday was all about the seniors. They walked to raise awareness of health problems common as we age. Shannon Kingston, is the Georgia Lions Club district 0 governor. She tells me that diabetes is the main focus as it can lead to trouble later.

"Diabetes ties into that, so keep yourself healthy, cause diabetes in turn can affect your vision. So we want to make sure we got lots of information on that.

For a closer look at some of the challenges seniors face, I checked with the National Council on Aging.

While seniors are living longer and healthier than in decades past, most older people have at least one chronic health condition. Nearly half (47%) suffer from arthritis,

  • 26% from any cancer
  • 21% from diagnosed diabetes
  • 11% from COPD, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis
  • and 14% from coronary heart disease.

Poverty and food in security are also top issues for seniors, especially during this era of high inflation.
Among Americans age 65+, poverty increased from 10.7% in 2021 to 14.1% in 2022, according to the latest census data. This jump left 1 million seniors relying on dwindling resources.

Eleanor tells me on top problems with her feet and higher prices, she feels another challenge for seniors is common decency.

"People don't really respect elderly people. They think you're not useful anymore. So it kinda hurts. It's painful.

Shannon tells me that senior resource fairs like this are the start of a solution.

"Different vendors are catered towards seniors, but they're open to everybody who might need some of that information."

The Hahira Honeybee festival continues all this week, with concluding with the town parade on October 7th. I'm Malia Thomas, ABC27.