While many plan Fourth of July picnics, 600 hungry seniors stand in line for food.
On July 3, when others are planning their Fourth of July barbecues with all the trimmings, hundreds of low-income adults ages 60 years and older will be standing in line at the Pasadena Senior Center to receive food they desperately need to help them make it through the month without going hungry.
The distribution program includes canned and boxed food, milk, bread and frozen chicken. For many, the chicken is their only source of much-needed protein.
“The chicken is handy for making so many dishes and it is a great help,” said Leonor Diaz. “If I didn’t have it I would go to rice and beans like we used to.”
Many low-income seniors struggle monthly with the choice between medicine, rent and simple nutrition; the first two often take precedence.
“Many times they go to bed hungry because they have run out of money,” said Diane Mgrublian, director of social services for the Pasadena Senior Center.
Just as clients worry whether their allotment will help sustain them through the 30-day period before the next distribution date, Pasadena Senior Center officials are concerned about the future of the food distribution program.
A $10,000 grant that has funded the chicken this fiscal year is coming to an end and donations are lower than usual due to the economy and other factors.
For now, the chicken and other food will be distributed on July 3 and senior citizens will wait patiently in line, grateful that such a program exists at all.
Eligibility requirements include a California ID and an income statement. Advance registration is required.
For more information visit www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org and click on Social Services or call 626-795-4331.