Saturdays for Seniors

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SatForSr

More than 37 years of serving older adults in Philadelphia!

Each Saturday a group of 50 older adults gathers at the Old Pine Community Center. Since 1978, this program has provided spiritual and social fellowship, a home-cooked noon meal and a bag lunch for seniors.

 

Shortly after the Old Pine Community Center opened its doors in 1977, it was recognized that there were no programs for older adults. A Temple University graduate student was hired to ring doorbells in East and South Philadelphia to determine what seniors truly need. She found that they were well served by city senior centers Monday through Friday but those facilities were closed on weekends. That meant hundreds of seniors were without companionship and in many cases without adequate food for two days each week.

A small but dedicated group decided to provide a Saturday lunch for a few dozen elderly people every other week. The invitation went out for the last Saturday in April 1978. They came, suspicious at first, but soon learned the lunch was indeed free and so was the morning snack and take home bag with soup, fruit and cookies. After the first invitation, we never again advertised. Word of mouth filled the seats each week as seniors traveled from all over the city.

 

That was 37 years ago. Throughout those years we have fried, roasted, boiled and scrambled everything from chicken to chickpeas. Support has come from many organizations. Haverford School collects thousands of cans of soup each fall. Drexel University sends student volunteers each week September to June. Settlement Music School, Philadelphia Sports Center, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and musicians from Old Pine Street Church provide entertainment and wellness programs monthly. The members and friends of Old Pine Street Church do the shopping, meal planning, cooking and volunteer coordination each week. Seasonal celebrations include special Thanksgiving and Easter meals. A wonderful holiday meal is served on Christmas Day. More than 180,000 meals have been served and we are still going strong.

 

Volunteering

Volunteers are welcomed and needed each Saturday – especially in the summer months when our college volunteers are on break. To volunteer please call the Community Center at 215-627-2493.

Kitchen Helpers: 9:30am-1:30pm

Servers & Clean up Crew: 11:30am–1:30pm

For more information about our program please contact the Saturday Seniors Coordinator via email.

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#GIVINGTUESDAY

WATCH THE #GIVINGTUESDAY VIDEO

 

Week in and week out we serve a noon time hot meal and also send each senior home with a second meal consisting of a can of soup, a piece of fruit and a snack. Without this program some seniors would go hungry every weekend when the city senior centers are closed.

 

Our program relies on donations and volunteers. Normally we receive 3,000 cans of soup donations each November – but sadly this year we only received 300.

 

On GIVING TUESDAY in December 2014, we launched our “Soup Campaign”. We received many generous donations but the need is ongoing. Your donation of $5.00 will allow us to purchase 24 cans of soup at our wholesale rate. For $10.00 you can make sure one senior will have soup for an entire year.

 

Won’t you help us make sure Philadelphia seniors do not go hungry?

You can donate using PayPal or a credit card using the link below or you can mail your check payable to “Old Pine Street Church” to 412 Pine Street. Philadelphia PA 19106.