As they walked through the door of the food pantry, we could see it in their eyes...a mixture of sadness and desperation. It was difficult for them to ask for help, but not as painful as living in a cold, damp apartment and being hungry.
Betty and her husband, Harold, live on a fixed income. She is 82 years old; he is 84. Each month Betty painstakingly works on their budget, but no matter what she cuts out or how low she turns the thermostat, it always comes down to a choice...if they pay for heat, they do not have enough money for food.
"I was a nurse for 32 years," Betty told us. "My husband worked in construction. Although we had lean years, we never had to ask for help. The older I get, the more the cold bothers me. It's unbearable when I'm both hungry and cold. Often at the end of the month, all we have to eat during the day is cereal with water; we don't even have any milk."
An increasing number of seniors in our community are struggling to put food on the table. Not having enough nutritious food can affect seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You can be part of the solution. Your support helps the Food Bank of Central New York distribute more food through their program partners that include food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters.
We still have a couple of winter months ahead of us. Please help so Betty, Harold and other seniors like them do not have to suffer.
Every $10 you send will provide 26 meals. Your gift will help seniors and other hungry neighbors have enough food to eat and pay their heating bills.
Betty and Harold didn't know what to expect at the food pantry. When they came in, they were greeted by a volunteer who gave them a warm smile and treated them with dignity and respect.
Betty and Harold now receive groceries once a month. The food is nutritious and easy to prepare.
"The bags of groceries are such a blessing. They stretch our food budget," said Betty. "The food is healthy and tasty. I especially like the fresh fruit. Fruit was something we couldn't afford before. When we go to the food pantry, we talk with people who are also receiving groceries - we've made a couple of new friends."
There are still so many seniors and neighbors of all ages who are struggling with hunger. Please be as generous as possible and send your gift today or donate online.
Together we can solve hunger. Thank you.
Kathleen L. Stress
P.S. Not having an adequate supply of food on a regular basis can be life-threatening to seniors. Your gift today will feed hungry neighbors. Your support is deeply appreciated.