Donations pour in to feed elderly after senior center closes -

Donations pour in to feed elderly after senior center closes

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. ( -

After the news of the Clyde C. Jordon Senior Center closure due to the state budget crisis spread, donations came in and volunteers stepped up to make sure the senior citizens of East St. Louis don't go hungry.

"It helps me very much. I'm legally blind, I can't cook, so I come out here for my dinner," said Elizabeth Moore, one of the hundreds of elderly citizens who rely on the center to eat.

The Senior Center served what they thought was their last meal on Friday, but on Monday, the community stepped in.

"Starting Monday, we had an outpouring of support," said Edward Officer, director of the center.

The freezer is now stocked with beef, pork, chicken, potatoes, canned vegetables and bread.

"It's almost as good as when we were buying the food," Officer said. "As of right now, we have enough food available to do all of next week's meals, about 1275 meals and we are working on the following two weeks."

Reverend John Ford of Pilgrim Green Baptist Church said their food pantry had some extra food, so they donated to the center.

"We wanted to make sure we at least help the seniors," Rev. Ford said. "Why would you not step up to the plate and make sure your seniors are cared for?"

Without any money, the center also had to rely on volunteers to cook, transport the seniors and make sure all of the meals are served.

Officer said the center is still in an emergency situation and the center cannot survive only on donations forever. However, he is very proud of the outpouring of support he's experienced from his hometown.

"You always hear about the bad parts or negative parts of East St. Louis, but East St. Louis is more positive than people know," said Officer.

Donations were made by Calvary Baptist  Church Food Pantry, Pilgrim Green Baptist Church Food Pantry, House of Prayer Church, New Jerusalem

Seventh Day Adventist Church, Lilly Hill Baptist Church Food Pantry, Lessie Bates Commercial Cleaning Service and Emerson Park Development School.

Cahokia's senior center was also hit hard by the state budget crisis and shut its doors on Thursday. In the meantime, Officer said his center will pick up the 30 home delivery meals from the Cahokia center.

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