Low-Income Seniors In Frederica No Longer Eating Dog Food To Sur - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Low-Income Seniors In Frederica No Longer Eating Dog Food To Survive

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FREDERICA, Del. - Frederica Senior Center Executive Director Renee Hoffman says a story aired on WBOC about struggling seniors paid off in a big way.
     
In October, we told you about low-income seniors at the center could not afford human food, so they chose to eat pet food to get by.  

"After that broadcast we were overwhelmed. Walmart Community Foundation gave us $25,000 for food. We had the Milford Housing Authority come and they took a food drive up for us. Lake Forest came and got a food drive. We had people coming from Smyrna and Clayton bringing us food and toiletries.

Hoffman says she never thought her food pantry would be packed with food.

Senior Delores McDonald says when she heard the story of seniors eating pet food, it touched her heart.

"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't. That's when we started bringing stuff in. I give what I can," said McDonald.

McDonald and her daughter Sandra Harris started bringing in bundles of socks filled with toiletries to help out, as well as canned food.

"I know I'm helping people," said McDonald.

Low-income seniors no longer have to worry about eating dog food because of the generosity of the community. They're going home with bags of food filled with items like corn, peanut butter and spaghetti, enough to feed them on weekends when the center is closed.

"It's wonderful how people pull together when they hear devastating news about people that are less fortunate," said Myra Jones, of Frederica.

Jones says she appreciates what the Frederica Senior Center does.

"I like it because the doors are always open. You come in and if you're hungry you get a nice meal," said Jones.

Hoffman says about 40 percent of the seniors who come to the center are low-income.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 9 percent of people age 65 and older in Delaware are living in poverty. That's equal to 12,300 seniors. That number jumps to 16 percent, or 85,700, for those ages 18 to 64.

"They're stereotyped that they don't need help. Some of these people are living off of $400 or $500 a month. They took care of us. Now it's time we take care of them. They do need our help," said Hoffman.
 
The Frederica Senior Center is located at 216 South Market Street, Frederica, DE 19946.
The phone number to the center is 302-335-4555.

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