More seniors relying on charitable food assistance, survey finds

Patricia Koch is a card playing pro, but she's just as passionate about being able to help feed those less fortunate.

"There are people here in Paducah that need our help," she said. She's one of 120 people who receive food everyday at the Paducah-McCracken County Senior Center. Koch said the food is going to what she called an overlooked group fighting hunger.

"You go to the store, and the prices go up. But your living wage, your social security, is being cut. Medicare. The whole thing," Koch said.

It's a reality Executive Director Guelda Wooldridge sees all too often. "If you had to live on $600 or $650 a month, you would see how tight it really is for them," she said.

There is even a waiting list of 50 people who want to receive food from their Meals on Wheels program, which is given out to 125 people everyday. The Murray-Calloway County Need Line helps provide food to 325 seniors a month, according to Executive Director Tonia Casey.

"I just feel like that's our job to help," Casey said.

Since Casey took over 13 years ago, she estimates the number of older people picking up food has quadrupled. "I can remember when we had 50 seniors and we thought that was quite a few," Casey said.

She said food banks are now having to step up to the plate in an effort to put food on the plates of those who need it the most.

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