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Food Bank Volunteers Keeping Close Eye On Seniors During Heat Wave

ELK GROVE (CBS13) - With this lingering heatwave, one local food bank is taking the extra step to make sure the seniors they serve are getting the proper nutrition they need.

Hundreds of volunteers come to the Elk Grove Food Bank every day, making sure people get the food and supplies they need to survive. But on really hot days, food drop-offs are also a friendly welfare check.

At the Elk Grove Food Bank, volunteers were hard at work Thursday.

On this day, the first stop is the home of 96-year-old Thelma Creekmore. The former bus driver lives on her own in rural Elk Grove.

After a brief greeting, as volunteers come into the house, something catches their attention.

"I could tell that her face was flushed the minute I walked in there so I was very concerned about that," said Elk Grove Food Bank Executive Director Marie Jachino.

The thermometer reads 80 degrees and it's only mid-morning

"I'm a little worried about the heat in here," said Jachino.

"Well, I'll turn on the air conditioning, will you do that for me...yes, and I'll get the rest of the groceries," said Creekmore.

It's a situation volunteers say they see all too often with seniors on a day when temperatures are on the rise.

"They're afraid of the cost of utilities. Most of our seniors are very low income [and] they're trying to decide if they're going to pay their rent, their utilities, their healthcare," said Jachino.

The food and supplies are a big help keeping costs down for those on a limited budget but it's also providing another important service.

"It is sometimes...that they are lonely, so it is a social contact. Not only that, they need the food," said a volunteer.

"I love to talk! Hahahahahah," said Creekmore.

The next stop is client Jessica's apartment. She's on oxygen and was recently hospitalized.

"It really means a lot to me, they send me things that I need," said Jessica.

And like so many of the clients, the food delivery comes with friendly smiles, hugs, and a check-in.

"When they come deliver they say, everything alright?" said.

The food bank says the senior wellness bag program fills an important need on hot summer days like this one and also all year long.

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