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Mable at Booth Manor

Food fair brings the grocery store to seniors

Added on Thursday, March 22, 2018

Grocery shopping isn’t always easy for senior citizens on fixed incomes. Food is expensive, and getting around can be tough.

So, what does The Salvation Army do?

We bring the grocery store to them.

Booth Manor Friday Food FairTwice a month, The Salvation Army Booth Manor senior living facility in Minneapolis offers a Friday Food Fair (pictured) that features a bounty of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, and other groceries donated by Lunds & Byerlys. The program is a blessing for Booth Manor’s 162 residents, many of whom live off social security benefits and nothing more.

A resident named Mable (pictured at top) is grateful for the food she receives.

“I like the vegetables and the fruits,” said Mable, moments after dropping a bundle of bananas, greens, and other produce into her grocery bag. “Today I was going to pick out some chicken, but they had some fancy barbecued chicken, so I chose that instead.”

Mable is 95 years old and sharp as a tack. The retired school teacher has lived at the 21-story high rise on Loring Park for about 20 years. Prior to beginning her career in teaching, she spent several years in Washington, D.C. performing clerical work during World War II.

Mable also fills her refrigerator by purchasing groceries at the Lunds & Byerlys a few blocks away, using money from her small pension.

Jerry picks food at Booth Manor“I take my walker and go there for exercise,” she said. “They’re so nice there.”

Unlike Mable, a Booth Manor resident named Jerry (pictured) does not have a pension to supplement his social security income. To feed himself, he relies on the Friday Food Fair, and by volunteering at other nonprofits in exchange for food.

“I volunteer at some places, then they give me a meal,” said Jerry, 79, a retired custodian and factory worker. “I do that five days a week.”

Pre-made sandwichesJerry appreciates the Friday Food Fair because in addition to providing fresh foods, the program also offers pre-made fare such as soups and sandwiches (pictured).

“That works for me because I don’t do much cooking,” Jerry said.

Peeking inside his grocery bag, he added, “I’ve never had this many groceries in my life. (The Salvation Army) does a very good to keep you happy.”

How to help

You can help people without enough food to eat by donating money or giving food at any of our food shelves in the Twin CitiesGreater Minnesota or North Dakota.

Now is a great time to donate – especially for Minnesotans, who will have their donation proportionally matched during the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign.

If you choose to donate nonperishables, please also consider giving one or more of the following items, which typically are in high demand but short supply:

  • Peanut butter
  • Hygiene supplies (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper)
  • Baby items (diapers, food, formula)
  • Ethnic foods (bamboo shoots, baby corn, rice, coconut milk, tortillas, maize)
  • Special diet (low-sugar, low-sodium, gluten-free)

Another option: Donate fresh fruits, veggies, and other perishables. We accept donations of perishable foods if they are given, in person, to a Salvation Army staff member at one of our food shelves.