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From food to friendship

 

Betty, one of the seniors who participates in the senior pantry at North Kent Connect, looks forward to seeing friends there. Courtesy photo.

Senior pantry at North Kent Connect providing social fellowship

Food is often the center around many social gatherings or events that people attend for leisure or professional purposes. At North Kent Connect, a Rockford area nonprofit committed to improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County, individuals attend a similar event known as Senior Pantry, but for a different purpose.

 “Our Senior Pantry program provides food to local seniors who simply cannot afford to sustain their food needs throughout the month,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director at North Kent Connect. “We see a lot of the same faces and it is an honor to serve our seniors, knowing they can rely on a dependable resource for food every month,” said Guisfredi.

For one program participant, Senior Pantry is more than just standing in line to claim a bag of food.

“I really enjoy coming to Senior Pantry,” said Betty, a client at North Kent Connect. “I have made some really great friends. We arrive about two hours early so we can see and talk with one another.”

Throughout the hours of the program, conversation and laughter fill the building, hugs are exchanged, and smiles paint the faces of people who battle food insecurity.

“It’s really quite special that this program has cultivated a way for our seniors to build a sense of community, bond, and form long-term friendships,” said Guisfredi.

Senior Pantry, an outreach program of Meals on Wheels Western Michigan, takes place on the third Thursday of each month. To learn more about the program and qualifications, visit nkconnect.org/seniorservices.php

 

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