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Senior Hunger Quadruples, but Donations Make a Difference

Updated: 12/11/2013 8:55 PM
Created: 12/11/2013 12:30 PM WDIO.com
By: Brittany Falkers

From the youngest of our community members to our eldest hunger knows no age limit.  That is why Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank is here to help those in the community who would otherwise go without.

Don Struntz is on a fixed income and relies on the help of our region's only food bank.  "Before I found this I didn't eat I guess is the way to put it," Struntz said. "The last week, I didn't eat is basically the way it was, but then I found this place and now I can eat everyday is the way to put it."

Second Harvest Executive Director, Shaye Moris says hunger in seniors has quadrupled in just the past five years.  The organization is stepping up to help in Northeastern Minnesota with a program that provides food to get them through a month without going hungry.

"Seniors have worked all their lives very hard.  They're on a fixed income, they're not just going to go back to work at the age of 70 or 80 and we wouldn't expect them to," Moris said.

The Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors or NAPS is a USDA commodity program for seniors in need.  It provides a 44 pounds of food to more than 800 seniors per month.

"What nice about this program is not only can seniors come to one of our 20 area sights in Northeast Minnesota, we also have an adopt a senior program for homebound seniors 8:10 where some wonderful volunteers can come in and deliver those boxes right to seniors in our region."

Second Harvest supplements what is funded federally in each box of food given to seniors with products from the food bank.  This makes for some very grateful folks in our area.

"Seniors are really grateful to get this food.  Certainly it supplies a lot of nutritional food especially for people with special diets," Moris said.

From the backpack program to NAPS and their daily services providing food to more than 120 non-profits in our area Second Harvest makes a huge difference for many throughout the region.

"We need them, we really do," Struntz said.

Join Second Harvest and our Good Morning Northland crew in the fight to end hunger this Friday, December 13, during our "Have a Heart, Help a Neighbor" drive.  Brittany Falkers and Ben Dery will be at the First United Methodist Church from 5 until 9 a.m. Collecting food and monetary donations.  So stop on by, check out the live broadcast and make a difference in our community.

You can also donate online by clicking HERE.

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