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Pack the Pantries: Growing number of seniors requesting help from Gleaners

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Dozens of seniors received fresh food for free as Gleaners Food Bank held it's monthly Senior Shopping Day, Monday morning.

The Senior Shopping Day is an extra day the Food Bank opens its door each month that gives senior citizens extra time to shop. Mayor Joe Hogsett was on hand giving out produce and meeting the elderly.

"Indianapolis, unfortunately, has so many food deserts that days like today could be critically important to the long-term health and well-being of those who we are serving today," said Mayor Hogsett.

According to Gleaners, 81% of senior households in Central Indiana are food insecure and the number of seniors coming to their pantry keeps growing years after year. Currently, 12% of Gleaners' clients are senior citizens.

“It’s very common that they will feed the grand-kids or feed their children first and if there’s food left, they’ll feed themselves," John Elliott, Gleaners Food Bank President and CEO. "By having a supplemental day just for them the hope is they do have enough food for themselves.”

Janice Juarez was at the event picking up food for her home. She lives on a fixed income of $800 a month plus food stamps. She said the Gleaners Food Bank can mean the difference between whether or not she eats some days.

"You have to worry about every meal. Whether you`re going to have meat or what you have, eating every leftover there is until it`s turned to mush from re-heating and re-heating," explained Juarez. “It’s very, very important. I mean there’s times when I wouldn’t eat without it.”

If you'd like to make a donation to Gleaners, click here. If you'd like to find out when the food bank is open, click here.