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La Grande Observer 11/28/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Union County seniors need you


Union County seniors need you

The holidays are supposed to be a time of hope and happiness for everyone. But for those senior citizens struggling with hunger, the holidays mean another day where they may not know where their next meal will come from. 

You can help. Give a meal today to help a senior in need during this holiday season and all year long. Right now, the Union County Senior Center is offering a special deal on meal tickets for senior citizens in need. If you purchase 20 meals for just $50, we will add an additional five more meals to this offer for free to a senior in need. 

Your help is more than a contribution. It’s a gift for local senior citizens who can’t go out and get a job or supplement their fixed income and are living every day in food-insecure households. That includes people like Mary who is a senior living on a fixed income and raising her grandchildren. 

“There have been times that I had to sacrifice eating just to make sure my grandkids eat,” Mary said. 

Not that she minds; she considers going without to be part of her job as a custodial parent. But on the days when the kids are only eating what is provided at school through the free breakfast program and the free lunch program, the hunger pain is hard for everyone. 

Thanks to Community Connection’s Senior Meal site, food bank programs and support from friends like you, she can now access the food she needs to feed her extended family. 

It’s sad to think of anyone facing hunger, but the reality is that one in six Americans may not know where their next meal will come from. 

For someone like Jennie — a senior living with a host of health problems — the holidays are especially hard. 

When Jennie started coming to the senior center for lunch she was withdrawn, didn’t talk much to anyone and never smiled. Jennie’s disability income isn’t nearly enough to cover her monthly expenses. 

So to make ends meet, Jennie visits her local food pantry where she receives the food staples she needs to get by. 

Since she has been coming to the Union County Senior Center she now gets the nutrition she needs to help with her medical problems but she gets more than just a meal. She gets the socialization that people need to have a quality life. 

She has made great progress since coming to our site. She has made a lot of new friends and has really started to smile and interact more with her newfound family at the senior center.

Help make a difference in the lives of people like Jennie and Mary who are struggling with hunger with a donation to Community Connection’s Senior Meal Program. There simply couldn’t be a better time to give.

The Union County Senior Center serves on average 1,300 meals at the meal site each month and an additional 1,200 meals to our homebound seniors who can’t get out of their homes to come to the meal site. 

Your donation will make a profound impact on local seniors who otherwise can’t afford a nutritious hot meal. 

My Voice

Carmen Gentry is the Union County manager of Community Connection of Northeast Oregon in La Grande.

My Voice columns should be 500 to 700 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships. 

We edit submissions for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We reject those published elsewhere.

Send columns to La Grande Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, Ore., 97850, fax them to 541-963-7804 or email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



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