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Senior Resources providing food and companionship to elderly Midlands residents

Midlands Gives has raised over $3 million for organizations like Senior Resources, which aims to empower Midlands seniors through providing food and companionship.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Senior Resources aims to empower the elderly and disabled residents right here in the Midlands by providing food, home care, wellness center programs and transportation. It’s a way to combat hunger in the elderly community while addressing loneliness.

"We became one family," senior citizen Shirley Askew explains. "Really in this center, we’re all family."

Building that family — and seeing smiles from seniors like Askew — is why Sandra Bolton volunteers at Senior Resources.

"The world is bigger than me," Bolton says about the lesson she learned through helping with the Meals on Wheels Program, where she delivers food to senior citizens each week.

"It’s just that you don’t know where you’re needed until you get out and you start volunteering," Bolton shares.

"We often say that our Meals on Wheels volunteers are delivering more than a meal," Senior Resources Director of Development Beth Struble says. "So, yes, it’s the nutrition, but it’s more so the wellness visit that they’re providing for those seniors. It’s a friendly 'hello' to seniors who may not see anybody else that day."

Struble says the Meals on Wheels program is providing nutrition and companionship for seniors like Corine Jacobs.

"It helps you not be alone. That’s the big thing for me," Jacobs tells me.

Through the nonprofit’s congregate meals program, Jacobs and other seniors get free transportation to different outings.

"Senior Resources has helped me a lot," Jacobs details. "Before I started coming to Senior Resources, I was home alone and that’s no fun."

"I love it! It just keeps me busy," Askew continues.

From arts and crafts to card games, seniors get to have some fun and have a meal provided each weekday. Struble tells me the demand for these services has increased by nearly 30% in the last year.

"We were serving around 500 at this time last year, and we’re over 700 at this time this year, so the need is growing," Struble explains. "Seniors will outnumber children come 2034, and so as an organization that is serving seniors, we’re currently preparing ourselves and increasing our capacity to meet the demand."

Trying to meet that growing demand by gathering more donations and recruiting more volunteers like Bolton, who says the work she does is fulfilling.

"It means everything to me. First of all, I'm setting a good example for my kids — my adult children and my grandchildren," Bolton shares. "And I just feel like one day you never know when you’re going to be on the other side and you actually need those services yourself."

To donate to Senior Resources on Midlands Gives, you can click here. Struble says the two biggest areas the nonprofit needs support for is with transportation services and the Senior Companions program, which helps home-bound seniors with housekeeping and meal preparation services, companionship and respite for caregivers.

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