As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, this week, tens of thousands of people in our area cannot afford the traditional feast.
It can be particularly challenging for seniors living on a fixed income to keep their cupboards stocked.
According to AARP, 15% of senior citizens in Pennsylvania are at risk of going hungry, a number that is only expected to grow as Baby Boomers age.
Amanda Harper worked all of her life until her rheumatoid arthritis became so debilitating she could barely walk.
The same year she was forced to retire, her husband passed away; it was a one-two punch that's left her struggling financially ever since.
"It wasn't fun, wasn't fun," Amanda said.
Two years ago, she learned about something called a Senior Box.
It's filled with 30 pounds of non-perishable foods like pastas, juices, canned fruits and vegetables.
"It's not a lot of food, but it does help them a little bit," Glenn Bergman, Executive Director of Philabundance, said.
Philabundance packs up and sends out 5,000 of the Senior Boxes every month
30 go to seniors at the Philabundance Fare & Square grocery store in Chester.
And while the boxes may not be much, they mean a lot.
"It's very important, it helps me to survive; it really does," Amanda said.
Each item inside is one more thing she won't have to buy or beg for.
"I'd go tell my sister-in-law I was hungry, she would buy me some food," Amanda said.
Philabundance says seniors represent 15% of the clients they serve, but suspect the number should be much higher.
"It is a silent problem because people don't want to say that they don't have enough food in their cupboards," Bergman said,
"I think a lot of seniors are just afraid to say anything because they get laughed at or people make fun of them," Amanda said.
For information on how you can share, connect, and give this holiday season, click here.
Philabundance helps seniors have a happy Thanksgiving
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