Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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Each week families and senior citizens facing tough times come to the St. Bernard Community Center for emergency food supplies.

'Many families are living on $25,000 a year or less, and an alarming number are living on $10,000 a year or less,' said Center founder Iray Nabatoff.

The center helps families that need clothing, computers to apply for jobs, even basic medical care.

Janice Johnson is a weekly visitor.

'Because I need help with food,' she noted, 'and it's very important that we get this, this helps when you're on low income, and don't have a job, or can't work.'

'180 households,which is 360 individuals come to our food pantry,' said Nabatoff.

Ann Hartmann said the center is 'very important, because we live on Social Security.'

It costs about $10,000 a month to keep the door open here at the Community Center, and they depend on grants and donations. But right now the money is running out. They can pay the August electric bill, but they don't know about September. They urgently need help.

'We need by the end of the month, first week of September, we need $10,000, or I'm not sure that we'll be able to keep the doors open,' worried Nabatoff.

'I hope they don't close it, because a lot of people are going to suffer, if they close this community center,' said Johnson.

'I wouldn't eat as well as what I do here, because I do get meat here,' added Hartmann.

New grants provide funding starting in January, but the clients are hoping donations will support the Center until then.

'It would make a great deal of difference, because when you live on Social Security, you don't get an awful lot, you know,' said Hartmann.

'Please give the donations, because we down here, we need this food, we need the center not to close,' pleaded Johnson. For more information, call the St. Bernard CFommunity Center at 281-2512, or visit their website at

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