Friday afternoon, Jan. 30, Helping Hands Storefront Ministry received a gift in the form of a check from a local church.

Friday afternoon, Jan. 30, Helping Hands Storefront Ministry received a gift in the form of a check from a local church.

Trinity Lutheran Church pastor Joshua Leigeber presented Helping Hands director Modie Phillips a check for $1500 for use in the Adopt-A-Cenla-Senior program, which aims to provide 50 pounds of food a month to senior citizens whose income falls at or below pre-established limits. Trinity Lutheran's gift will adopt 10 seniors for 2015.

Leigeber is new to the area. He previously lived and worked in New Orleans for three years and said life in Leesville took a little adjustment.

"Things move a lot slower here, but that's a good thing," Leigeber said. "This is a good community. We like it here."

He added members of Trinity Lutheran made and sold gumbo within the community to garner the funds they donated to Helping Hands. Thrivent Financial, through their own "Care Abounds in Communities" program, provided matching funds to those earned by Trinity's gumbo sales.

Phillips described the importance of the program, citing the countless instances wherein seniors must often choose between buying medication or food with their limited funds.

"They only get so much money, and that just goes so far," said Phillips. "Even if they're fortunate enough to own their home and don't have rent payments, Social Security and pensions just don't always cover everything."

Phillips outlined the criteria for the Adopt-A-Cenla-Senior program.

The senior must be over 65 years old or 60 and disabled. They must have an income less than $1,265 monthly to be eligible for sponsorship. A household with two senior citizens must earn less than $1,705 per month.

A senior cannot sponsor him- or herself, Phillips added. However, she said, a family member can sponsor them. Any other individual, a civic organization or church may also adopt seniors.

The necessary information to sponsor a senior is their name(s), address, telephone number, birthdate, proof of income, proof of disability (if disabled) and a copy of their electric bill. The cost to sponsor a senior is $150 for one year. A check for this amount should be sent to The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, 3223 Baldwin, Alexandria, LA 71301-3506. They may also be reached by phone at (318) 445-2773 or via fax at (318) 484-2898.

Helping Hands now has 109 adopted senior citizens in the community, all of whom receive 50 pounds of food on the first Friday of every month. The foodstuffs include boxed, canned, fresh and frozen foods.