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Food pantry that helps seniors in need of donations

ELKHART, Ind. -- The effects of this month's sequester could finally be catching up to residents in Michiana. Programs like Medicare and Meals on Wheels experienced deep cuts due to Congress' inability to reach a budget deal. As a result, food pantries are seeing an increased demand.

Shelley Rose, Executive Director of Christ’s Commissary, loves helping seniors in need.

If it weren't for her and a staff of dedicated volunteers, some of them -- could very well go hungry.

"It's an emotional rollercoaster," Rose said. "Because you feel bad for the people, but then at the same time, when you're able to give them something, it warms your heart."

She's staying busy, helping over 500 families a month, providing them things like bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, even milk. Lately, the number of people needing those items has skyrocketed.

"For a long time, our numbers were down," Rose said. "But just last week, we went from about 50 seniors to 78."

Seniors needing help has always been an issue, but recent cuts in federally-funded programs like Medicare and Meals on Wheels are making it all the more challenging.

"The economy is getting better, but there are still a lot of people that aren't working," Marcus Nisly, a volunteer, said.

He helps out, because like Rose, he too fell on hard times and needed assistance. Now, he's returning the favor.

"I was on disability," Nisly said. "My wife and I were coming and we decided, after we were here, we might as well help."

So while groups like the Harvest Food Program will always be around, the donations may not; which means seniors need help now more than ever.

The Harvest Basket is holding a fundraiser May 18th at the Disabled American Veterans post in Elkhart.

They are accepting donations as well.

Click here for more information on the Harvest Basket senior food program.

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