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Hector, Bronx soup kitchen guest


"I'm retired for medical reasons, so I've been thankful for the people who've been around to help. When I developed back problems, the construction company I worked at found me an office job. But now I have carpal tunnel syndrome — and some days I can barely tie my shoes with the pain.

"After I retired, I moved my father here from Puerto Rico to live with me. I do everything I can for him, but it's not easy. We receive food stamps, my father collects Medicaid and we each have Social Security. But after rent and all the bills, including my father's nurse's aid, sometimes we don't have enough at the end of the month.

"My father and I started coming to the senior center two years ago — and the meals we get here are really essential. When you budget you have to think about the next day, then the next day, then the next. When we come here it makes the next day a lot easier. And after this great food I have more energy for my father. We all do what we can. We're both thankful that so many people at the center do so much."

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