Local seniors are not happy social security benefits will not increase

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) It’s a busy day at the New London Area Food Pantry.

“Chicken leg or fish sticks?” asks one volunteer as Claude Parkes moves through the line.

He comes to the pantry once a month and he’s not the only one on social security who uses these services.

“I would say maybe half or so,” says pantry manager Bob Lavoie.

He believes that number will go up by another ten percent because those who receive social security benefits won’t see an annual cost-of-living increase in 2016.

“Could be better,” says Parkes. “That’s why we’re at the food pantry right now.”

“It’s going to hurt a lot of people there will be more people getting food,” says another client Connie Bennett.

“The raise is unbelievable big help,” says her daughter Sherryl Bennett. “That little bit goes a long way.”

News8 wanted to find more people who were on social security so we went to the New London Senior Center and when we got there we saw how busy it was.

That’s because this is Thursday the day they hold their own food pantry.

“We help other countries,” says New London resdient Rosalie Zenobia. “It’s about time we help our own country especially where food is.”

“My wife and I we are thinking of selling the house because even though my check… remains the same my taxes went up, my insurance went up,” says Hugo Paredes who now receives the same amount a month in social security benefits that he used to earn a week as a pipe fitter.

He can’t afford the medicine he needs for a painful eye condition.

“Two little bottles $325 eye drops,” says Paredes.

Beverly Knapp says her mother’s friend had to make his own tough and life changing choice.

“Had a choice of buying food or getting his medicine and unfortunately he’s now in heaven because he didn’t take his medicine,” says Knapp.

The seniors are especially worried now because they’ll soon be paying higher heating bills too with winter coming.

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