Low-income seniors often face the grueling choice between buying food, or paying for living and medical expenses.  That's why, every month, the senior grocery program at the Chattanooga Food Bank provides nutritious meals to meet the unique dietary needs of seniors.

Ms. Hise feels like a kid every month when she gets her box of food. "It's like Christmas.  it's like Christmas all over."  She is disabled and lives on a fixed income. Sometimes the food she has runs out before her check comes.  She says, "I try to spread it out.  Sometimes I run short."

That's where the Chattanooga Area Food Bank comes in,  providing food every month to the Partnership's Elderly Service division. Employees chose a variety of can goods and other non-perishables before adding fresh produce and meat.  Kendra Brabham is the Program Manager for the Partnership.  She packs food boxes once a month for a handful of clients. "We get our meats and breads and fresh produce which a lot of them can't afford", Brabham says.

Since many of the seniors who receive the food boxes also have special dietary needs, each box is packed with a specific client in mind. "A lot of them are on medication.  They have high blood pressure, diabetes so they do need the healthier foods to stay healthy," explains Brabham.

Getting this food each month means these seniors won't have to make some tough choices.  Brabham says, "A lot of them sometimes have to go without medication in order to have food or they buy medication then they don't have food and they're hungry."

Ms. Hise keeps a list of groceries and how much they cost, knowing she can't afford some of the things she wants. "I can't afford it - hamburger meat. Beef bologna, I can afford... sometimes."

Donations to Channel 3's annual Share Your Christmas food drive help provide much of the food seniors like Ms. Hise depend on each month. She encourages everyone to give what they can. "Give everything you possibly can because it's something we desperately need. And I really appreciate it so much."

You can help the Chattanooga Area Food Bank provide seniors with food every month by bringing a donation to Channel 3's 30th annual Share Your Christmas food drive this Friday.  We will be at

First Tennessee Pavilion in Chattanooga, Lifecare Center's Campbell Campus on Keith Street in Cleveland and at First Baptist Church in Dalton.  We'll be on locations from 4:30am-6pm.

And new this year, you can still make a donation by texting "SYC30" to "4-1-4-4-4".