Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.

Seniors and the Red Apple

Photo by Inye Wokoma

Photo by Inye Wokoma

Tralaina Jones grew up in the Central Area and has worked in the Red Apple deli for nine years. She was recently priced out of the neighborhood and now lives in Renton.

Tralaina Jones

You know, a lot of those older people are done cooking. They don't wanna cook anymore. That's why they come in there everyday You know, it's not fast food, it's not fries and burgers. They get meals. Meatloaf, greens, ribs, you know. So that helps them a lot. Some of them can't cook. They can't move, like they usually do, so I kinda feel bad for them a little bit, cause what are they gonna eat now? The people at the nursing home, they love their southern food, that's what they were raised on, and it's gonna be gone, and they can't travel far to get anything, or they don't have a kitchen in there, or their families don't wanna cook. 
We get a lot of them that come and just talk to us, just want to have conversations. Sometimes we're like, "Oh we've got work to do," but you know it's kinda hard when they just wanna vent. So we feel kinda bad so we listen to them for the most part. I think it helps them a lot. They wanna be social and have that social ability. They're getting older so they don't have that at the nursing homes or it's not what they really want. They can't go out and meet people. They see the same people every day, same food, same conversation.