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Bozeman seniors find a way to come together during pandemic

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Posted at 7:15 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 09:29:14-04

BOZEMAN - Isolation affects people differently, and it has been especially challenging for seniors and those with compromised immune systems as a lot of them have had to take additional safety measures.

But a community of seniors saw an opportunity to socialize and treat each other to a meal all while doing it safely.

The Legion Villa Apartment Complex houses senior and disabled residents in Bozeman, and these residents refuse to let a pandemic get their spirits down.

“People are pretty isolated here, so anything that we can think of. I think everybody appreciates it, and we love doing it,” said resident Chris Ballinger.

Neighbors helping neighbors: residents of the complex cooked, delivered, and ate today’s lunch from boxes of produce from the Farmers Feeding Families program.

“A lot of people got the boxes but didn’t know how to fix it or utilize, so Janet came up with an awesome idea to throw everything together and we would make turkey and dumpling vegetable soup,” said Thelma Minnick, a resident and one of the cooks.

“It’s such a good feeling and it’s more than just the food, just having the food. But it’s just getting people excited about doing something a little bit different especially during this COVID. You know that we’ve been going through all of us,” Ballinger said.

Even the ladies doing the hard work in the kitchen enjoyed the selfless task.

“It feels so much better being able to get out of the apartment, do something constructive and feel like we’re helping people,” Minnick said.

All the produce was provided by a program called Farmers Feeding Families, which was created by the USDA.

The Gallatin Valley Food Bank will be distributing Farmers Feeding Families boxes Tuesday morning from 9-10 AM at the Gallatin Valley Mall and at Peace Lutheran Church in Belgrade Thursday from 2:45-4 P.M.

All are welcomed and encouraged to come.