By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“It’s a different attitude and energy than on Wednesdays,” said food bank Manager Shirley Moss.
“We can go as slow as we want, there is no rush of people, and it gives me the opportunity to put out items that are more specific to seniors’ needs.”
The food bank is open to seniors only from noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays, while Wednesday hours, where all ages are served, are from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The food bank is at 1919 Blaine St. on the Mountain View Commons.
Seniors can have different dietary needs from the general population, move more slowly and need individualized attention, Moss said.
The day set aside for seniors also provides needed personal interaction, she said.
“It’s like one big family,” she said.
“It’s not like it’s us serving them; it’s one unit helping each other.”
On senior day, the food isn’t distributed until noon, but several people come in at 9 a.m. to prepare for the crowds.
Last Saturday, 84 seniors were served by 18 volunteers, compared with Wednesday, when 36 volunteers served 333 people.
“It’s amazing how sweet it is,” Moss said.
“They come in with their wheelchairs, walkers and canes, and they are so grateful that we are helping them.
“I think we need to be good to our seniors, and it’s our duty to spoil them.”
As a bonus, Moss raffles off pillows, blankets and other needed household goods.
“It’s more about food," she said. “They are getting a social time together with us, which is very important to them,” Moss said.
Moss is usually around Saturdays, but the distribution is managed by volunteer Nora Goodall.
“You don’t know if these people have conversed with anyone all week long, so they enjoy the interaction as much as coming in and getting the food,” Goodall said.
“It is a joyous experience for both the seniors and the volunteers.
“I don’t think you can do enough for seniors. They are revered in some societies but are overlooked in ours.”
Moss said the food bank doesn’t need any more volunteers but is soliciting cash contributions.
The most needed food contribution is canned protein, she said.
For information about the food bank, phone Moss at 360-531-0275.
Checks and contributions can be sent to P.O. Box 1795, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
Cash donation boxes are located at the Port Townsend Safeway and the Food Co-op.
Contributions are tax-deductible, and Moss sends a tax receipt to each contributor.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.