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Rising costs of groceries puts strain on senior centers

BISMARCK — The rise in the cost of groceries has sparked the launch of a new program for the Bismarck Senior Center. Director Betty Jellinek is starting a “Product of the Month” campaign in August at the local senior center. She said Farmington already has such a program and to her knowledge it has been very successful.

“I am hoping this program will help the community get involved in donating items for the senior center,” Jellinek said. “This is going to serve two purposes. The first is to bring donated food items into the senior center. With the price of food the way it is, we need all the help we can get.”

Jellinek said the center has to operate within a budget and the rise in the cost of groceries has really put a strain on funding.

“This month’s product of the month will be all purpose flour,” she said. “We use flour to make our homemade rolls and for our deserts. The center is known for our rolls, so that is definitely something we will want to continue. The price of flour has continued to go up so we are hoping we will get a lot of donations.”

Jellinek said she is also hopeful the programs will create a new awareness within the community.

“We want people to know that we are here,” she said. “We are here to help. It’s going to be very interesting to see how many people donate. We need these items in order to prepare the meals.”

She said she encourages people to stop by as early as 7 a.m. each morning to have a doughnut and coffee.

“I know it’s hot outside so come on in and enjoy the air conditioning,” Jellinek said. “We serve lunch inside the senior center from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We also do home deliveries.”

The senior center asks for a $2.50 donation for meals to those older than 60 and a $5 donation from those under 60.

Jellinek has been the director of the senior center since late April. She said she is interested in making it a better place for the residents of Bismarck.

“We have a suggestion box for anyone who would like to see changes made,” she said. “I want to encourage all of our seniors to stop by and say hi.”

The Bismarck Senior Center is located at 922 Center Street in Bismarck. For more information call 573-734-2429.

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