Charleston Area Senior Center Food Pantry in need of donations


The Charleston Area Senior Center is in need of donations for its emergency food pantry.

The executive director of the center, Donna Cook, says many people they serve have seen recent cuts in food stamps leading to a greater demand.

Althea Guest has been visiting the senior center for about a year.

"I love the pantry, you can go in and get what you need, it's just nice," Guest said.

Cook says they've noticed a spike over the last three months.

"In July, the first 10 days of the month we were completely emptied out so we had to shut for about a week and then open back up for our next truckload," Cook said.

She says they have a budget to purchase two loads of food a month from the Lowcountry Food Bank, but they mostly depend on donations and they need your help.

"Serving 20 people day it's gone very quickly," Cook said.

In July, they served 127 families, a difference from last year where the highest number of families they served in one month was about half of that.

"They're telling us that it's because their food stamps have been cut, most of the seniors that we see are getting about $15 a month in food stamps, previous to that some were about $100 and some were about $50," Cook said.

Guest says while she doesn't receive food stamps the pantry is a big help.

"You don't have to worry about getting out in that crowd and just the walking for me," Guest said.

The pantry feeds anyone who needs food in the community including the homeless. The center provides meals and social activities for seniors.

"Seniors are often forgotten group in our society and they are what helped us get to where we are in our world and they've got so much to give and we need to be able to be here to help them," Cook said.

They're asking for food items like hearty soups, stews, ravioli frozen dinners, cheese yogurt, oatmeal packets, grits, juice, nuts, granola, trail mix, and crackers.

They also get requests for household items like paper towels, toilet paper and household cleaners. Personal care items like laundry soap, shampoo, conditioner, toiletry items and more are also accepted.

If you'd like to donate you can drop off items at the center located at 259 Meeting Street in Downtown Charleston. They'll also pick-up donations from groups.

The Charleston Area Senior Center also operates Meals on Wheels. They'll be having a benefit night at the Riverdogs Game on Aug. 24. A total of $3 from every ticket will go towards Meals on Wheels. Right now they serve about 600 meals a day and 150 people are on that waiting list.

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