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Tag Archive | "Claire Guisfredi"

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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Seats and feet drive


Collecting socks, underwear, and more at NKCS

North Kent Community Services is once again asking residents to help families in need during their “Seats and Feet” drive.

“Socks and underwear, along with pajamas and mittens, are the items most requested by our struggling families,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director at North Kent Community Services. “Many of our families are working but still cannot make ends meet. With winter coming, help us keep children warm by covering their seats and feet.”

They ask donors to please use the front door to drop off new and unopened packages of underwear, socks, and pajamas to North Kent Community Services, Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. All donations are needed by Monday, December 14 in time for the Christmas store. NKCS is located at 10075 Northland Dr. NE (north of 12 Mile Road) in Rockford.

They are also looking for something you might not think to donate: your tangled or broken Christmas lights.

Your unusable Christmas lights will be recycled for their glass, copper and plastic while NKCS receives a small amount per pound, money that goes toward the food pantry, educational programs and Christmas store.

You can drop off your old or broken Christmas lights seven days a week on the south side of the building, which is attended seven days a week.

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Gently used items needed at North Kent Community Services

Poverty is everywhere. It’s not just impacting the inner city anymore; it’s becoming more prevalent in our own backyard. North Kent Community Services is dedicated to helping our neighbors in need, but we can’t do it alone.
“We see that many of our clients are getting jobs, but they are low paying jobs that can’t sustain a family,” says Claire Guisfredi, executive director of NKCS. “Our families come to us for food, clothing and personal care items, the things that many of us take for granted.”
NKCS depends on community donations to supply our clients with these everyday necessities. We are currently in need of:
•     Gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories
•     Gently used household items and linens
•     Child-friendly food items (e.g., cereal, juice, peanut butter)
•     Personal care items (e.g., shampoo, soap, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products)
You can make a difference in our local community. As you clean out your closets and garage this summer, please consider donating your gently used items to NKCS. Drop off all food and other items Monday-Friday, 8:00 to 6:00. We are located at 10075 Northland Dr. NE (north of 12 Mile Road.)
Thank you for supporting NKCS as we serve your friends, family and neighbors.
North Kent Community Services is the largest food pantry in northern Kent County, serving families and individuals from 6 Mile to 22 Mile Roads. We provide food, clothing, senior meals on wheels, tax preparation and more to those in need.
For more information on NKCS, please visit www.nkcsc.com. Follow us on Facebook at North Kent Community Services and on Twitter at @nksc.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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