Members give ‘buy one, give one free’

Septuagenarian Ed McKenzie is a man on a mission to help seniors in need on low, fixed incomes and grandparents raising their grandchildren throughout Broward County.

Each month when he does his shopping, McKenzie practices “buy one, give one free” every time he buys a special offer, he gives the “free” food he collects to The Pantry of Broward, a unique charity focusing on helping seniors and grandparents raising their grandchildren.

“In the past six months, McKenzie has collected an amazing one ton of food for The Pantry’s clients,” explains Penny Loughan, CEO of The Pantry of Broward. “What an incredible man!”

McKenzie was a manager at Sears Roebuck for 35 years before retiring to The Township development in Coconut Creek.

“I like to give back. I am retired and, instead of taking a bunch of friends to lunch, I do this for seniors who are in a pinch,” he explained. “I have several friends who are also helping with collecting food and transport, but we could always use more support!”

The largest bank in Broward County is also assisting The Pantry for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bank of America is supporting a Thanksgiving Food Drive for seniors in need throughout Broward County during the month of November.

For the second consecutive year, the public is invited to drop off canned foods at any of Bank of America’s more than 80 convenient banking centers in Broward County from Nov. 2–Nov. 30, 2009.

Last year, more than 8,000 pounds of food were collected through Bank of America’s centers but, because of the increased number of seniors facing hunger and asking The Pantry of Broward for help, this year’s goal is double that amount.

“Not only are we thrilled that The Pantry of Broward has once again asked us about using our network of banking centers as food collection sites, but we’re pleased that they continue to serve such a critical and often overlooked need in our community,” explained Mark Mallar, Broward County market president for Bank of America.

Seniors in need

Official figures indicate that close to 30,000 seniors live below the poverty line in Broward County alone – a statistic calculated before the impact of the current financial crisis.

People who want to help out like Bank of America and individuals like McKenzie are encouraged to drop off needed items such as tuna fish, canned meats and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly, as well as macaroni and cheese. Specially marked collection boxes can be found in each Bank of America banking center.

Customers may also make cash contributions into The Pantry of Broward’s bank account in lieu of donating food items by simply asking a teller.

“At Bank of America we recognize the important role so many seniors play in our community, especially those helping to raise dependent grandchildren,” continued Mallar. “With one of the largest and most convenient network of banking centers throughout Broward County, we are pleased to serve as a collection site for The Pantry of Broward’s Thanksgiving food drive, to help those in need during the holidays.”

 For more information, call 954-358-1481 ext. 114 or visit

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