In these fast-paced times, the way we connect with friends has been completely redefined. But for 94-year-old Betty Ann, connecting with friends the old-fashioned way is an important lifeline.
When the longtime San Francisco resident entered her 90s, she was living a pretty lonely existence. Her beloved husband, Murle, whom she married back in 1944, passed away from Parkinson’s Disease after they had been married over 60 years.
Her grandson moved in to help Betty Ann around the house, but something was missing: companionship with people closer to her age.
“A social worker suggested that with my fixed income it might be time to contact the local food bank to supplement my groceries,” she said. “He also promised that I would meet nice people and enjoy myself.”
Betty Ann took the advice to heart, and within a few weeks she was enrolled at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s pantry at Ingleside Community Center, just a few blocks from her home. Before long, several friendships blossomed with other seniors whom she met at the pantry.
“I met Zakia, and Lita, and Jean, and Margaret. When they have a birthday, we save our money and go someplace for lunch,” Betty Ann said. “Friends are very important, especially at my age. They keep me happy.”
Betty is thankful for the money she saves by receiving food at the pantry. Her favorite food items are chicken, eggs and vegetables – ones that would cost the most if she purchased them on her own. Like many seniors, she is trying to remain in the city she knows and loves, as the cost of living continues to climb.
“Everything is pretty high right now – the utilities and everything,” she said. “Everything goes up and my income stays the same.”
What isn’t staying the same is the network of friends Betty Ann continues to build at the Ingleside Community Center pantry.
Do you know a senior who could benefit from healthy groceries and companionship? If so, check out our Food Locator feature on our website. There, you’ll find information about our pantry network, our other programs, and instructions on how to sign up for food assistance.
Donate to programs that help neighbors like Betty Ann.