When people think of hunger, they often see the face of a homeless person, a single mom or even a child. But the food insecurity rate among seniors living in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2001 to 5.4 million seniors in 2013. Locally, Feeding America San Diego and its distribution partners are working together to reach San Diego seniors by serving approximately 5,000 adults over the age of 60 every week.
“With unique nutritional needs and challenges, older Americans who face hunger have an increased risk for chronic health conditions like depression, asthma and heart failure,” said Al Brislain, CEO of Feeding America San Diego. “We have a responsibility to provide food that strengthens older generations and our community.”
As part of its Feeding Seniors initiative, Feeding America San Diego has developed strategic partnerships with organizations serving this population. A partnership with a senior independent living facility in Escondido helps provide nutritious foods to its residents. In East County, Feeding America San Diego is the primary supplier of fresh produce to Meals on Wheels, Greater San Diego, a program that delivers prepared meals to hundreds of San Diego seniors, eliminating transportation barriers that are especially challenging for them.
“The food provided by Feeding America benefits many seniors and disabled people,” said Blanca Ghanavi, Site Coordinator at the senior independent living facility in Escondido. “Monthly income from social security and disability can often be insufficient to buy veggies, fruits, meat and milk.”
To help further meet this need, Feeding America San Diego recently launched a new partnership with the Fourth District Seniors Resource Center. This much-needed venture provides nutritious food to approximately 100 seniors once a month. Members are able to stop by in the afternoon to pick up groceries following activities offered by the center. In addition, supplemental food is provided for the daily meals served on site.
Feeding America San Diego will continue to strive to make San Diego a hunger-free and healthy place for its neighbors through partnerships with community organizations dedicated to serving seniors with dignity. As a Live Well San Diego Recognized Partner, Feeding American San Diego is committed to advancing the shared vision for a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving.
To get involved with hunger-relief in your community and help seniors across San Diego County, visit feedingamericasd.org.
By Madeleine Hennessy, Communications Coordinator at Feeding America San Diego