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Tag Archive | "Meals on Wheels"

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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North Kent Connect provides extra food for holidays


Algoma Township’s Community Deputy Mike Allen on hand at North Kent Connect.

Nearly 400 seniors and other community members braved snowy roads and single digit temperatures to pick up healthy, nutritious food from North Kent Connect (NKC) on Thursday, December 14. It was a team effort with many volunteers and supplies from area businesses and Algoma Township’s Community Deputy Mike Allen on hand to direct traffic if needed. 

During the week leading up to Thursday’s distribution, 35 volunteers assembled the food bags. On the day of distribution, over 20 volunteers and NKC staff worked together to quickly and efficiently dispense the food to clients. The seniors gathered in the conference room at NKC to stay warm and chat with their neighbors while waiting their turn.

 NKC is the “hub” in northern Kent County for many programs and services, including food for low-income individuals. On December 14, NKC distributed food from the federal government’s TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) and Senior Pantry, a monthly service of Meals on Wheels Western Michigan to seniors age 60-plus. People received such food as whole chickens, apples, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, milk, ground turkey, cheese, bananas, and potatoes.

 “Partnerships like these allow us to offer additional free food to families in need in northern Kent County,” said Claire Guisfredi, NKC Executive Director. “We’re especially thankful for the volunteers who took time out of their day and worked in freezing temperatures outside to make this one of the smoothest running distribution days we’ve ever had!”

For more information on North Kent Connect, please visit www.nkconnect.org and follow them on Facebook @North Kent Connect.

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