December 15, 2021

Over 500 bags of food and grocery gift cards distributed to El Paso seniors

Senior Citizens Holiday Event and Food Drive Fund distributes over 500 bags of food and grocery gift cards to seniors in need.

Continuing a legacy of giving, the Senior Citizens Fund of El Paso hosted its annual holiday food drive on December 8th. On that bright and sunny morning, the fund along with a group of dedicated volunteers banded together to assemble over 500 generous bags of food, complete with grocery gift cards, to support El Paso’s most vulnerable and deserving senior citizens.

The Senior Citizens Fund of El Paso was established over 50 years ago in 1967 by Dale Nasser and Peter Rizk. Both men saw there was not enough being done to help senior citizens and were inspired to give back. They established the annual holiday event and food drive with the support of their family and friends of the St. George Church Community.

“This event was founded by my dad, Dale Nasser, and my godfather, Peter Rizk, over 50 years ago when they saw a need in our community to help our seniors. There are so many great charities in El Paso, but they felt, and I agree, that there is not enough being done for our seniors,” says Deanna Nasser, Board Chair for the Senior Citizens Fund of El Paso.

As a child, Deanna volunteered with her family and took over in 2006 when her dad and godfather no longer could. For the past 15 years, Deanna has spearheaded the event and continues the legacy established by her family.

Each year, the Senior Citizens Fund hosts a holiday event and invites over 500 seniors. The event provides seniors with an opportunity to dine, dance, and socialize! They also receive a stocking to take home. Deanna says this is an event that many seniors look forward to each year as many of them are unable to visit or have no family. 

Over the years, Deanna has developed a relationship with the Housing Authority’s resident relations managers to identify the greatest needs of the seniors they serve. Through this partnership, Deanna learned that many of the seniors were struggling with food insecurity. Heartbroken with this discovery, Deanna pivoted and began providing seniors with a food gift bag to take home for the holidays.

Due to the pandemic in 2020, the Senior Citizens Fund was unable to host their annual dinner in-person. However, that did not stifle their passion and drive to support senior citizens in need. This year’s event was successful with the help of Deanna’s Board Vice-Chair, Christopher Ferris, board members Lea Fatuch and Sonia Legarretta, and over 20 volunteers. Ex-officio Board members Surella “Sudie” Nasser and Laila Ferris have provided financial, physical, and moral support for this annual event / project for over 50 years.

Deanna and the board remain hopeful that they will be able to host their annual event in-person next year and encourages our community to continue to support the Senior Citizens Fund and our community of philanthropy.

To learn more and support the Senior Citizens Holiday Event and Food Drive Fund visit Senior Citizens Holiday Event & Food Drive Fund | Paso Del Norte Community Foundation (