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West Michigan organization helps senior citizens stay fed during pandemic

"Senior Neighbors" is one of 13 Kent County agencies with pantries that's receiving food for the Summer Stock-Up.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for senior citizens. Isolation, the fear of getting the disease and financial strain have combined to leave many seniors struggling to put food on the table. 

That's why 13 ON YOUR SIDE is partnering with United Ways across West Michigan for the Summer Stock-Up, which is a month-long effort to re-stock food pantry shelves and support organizations that feed people.

Senior Neighbors has been assisting struggling elderly members for years, but really needed to step up their game during the pandemic.

"60% of the people that come here are in a homeless shelter," said Jonathan Bates, who is the center coordinator at Senior Neighbors. "We do have another portion of people that were able to come and get a box or a bag [of food]."

Senior Neighbors is currently open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but on July 1, they plan to return to their pre-pandemic schedule of Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Credit: 13 OYS

If you'd like to donate items to local food pantries, you can bring your donation in to the 13 ON YOUR SIDE studio on June 23-24

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