KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Every year at about this time, thousands of mainly women get ready for Power of the Purse. It’s Mobile Meals’ signature event.

This is a milestone year for Mobile Meals; its 50th anniversary. Sadly, the surge in COVID-19 cases forced Mobile Meals to cancel its planned celebration at the Tennessee Theatre, but you still have a chance to get a beautiful purse by designer Patricia Nash and help feed homebound seniors in our area.

Handbags and accessories galore in a variety of colors and styles are just waiting for someone to take them home. We found an enticing display inside Patricia Nash’s flagship store in Knoxville, created just for Mobile Meals’ Power of the Purse.

“This is probably one of the biggest causes we support here, ” Jennifer Vanderink, vice president of operations for Patricia Nash, said. “First of all, it’s Power of the Purse so it was kind of like a great connection. How could we not be involved?”

This year, Power of the Purse is going online. Mobile Meals has created so many stories to tell and so many lasting friendships over the last half-century. The need has never been greater than now.

“We’re serving 1,200 people a day over this past year. We have provided 300,000 meals, serving over 2,000 people,” Judith Pelot of Mobile Meals said.

The online Power of the Purse silent auction is from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16. To learn more visit the Mobile Meals website or call 865-524-2786.

There’s also an outdoor celebration for part of the day. It’s a party in the park between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Malcolm Martin Park, the site of the Mobile Meals kitchen, at 1747 Reynolds St.