With the bounty of Thanksgiving fresh in our minds and the holidays just around the corner, it is important to remember that not all of our neighbors are enjoying the same abundance that we are. For many older adults in San Diego, food insecurity is a persistent concern. And for those who are homebound, the problem can be especially serious.
Fortunately, the County of San Diego’s Aging & Independence Services offers a way for the community to help homebound seniors through the More on the Menu (MOM) program, an initiative that provides a weekly supplemental food delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables—healthy foods that otherwise might be out of reach.
Mary Larsen, 64, is one of the recipients of the weekly MOM delivery. Always someone who has prioritized a healthy lifestyle, Mary was delighted when she learned that once a week, along with the hot meal brought to her by the Oceanside Senior Center, she could receive a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables through MOM.
Like so many other homebound older adults, Mary struggles to make
ends meet. “By the end of the month you have to decide, are you going
to spend money on food or your medications?” she says.
Every Wednesday, Mary eagerly awaits her produce delivery: “I call it my goody bag!” she exclaims.
But in addition to the produce, Mary also looks forward to the opportunity to chat with Tim, who delivers it.
“He’s a great guy with spunky humor,” she says. “He cares when I’m not here; he’ll pound on the door if I don’t answer right away.”
The MOM program helps to nourish Mary and 250 other homebound older adults throughout the County. Recipients are selected by County-contracted nutrition providers who determine the most at-risk seniors who receive home-delivered meals.
The MOM program hopes to expand so more can benefit.
“It is so essential,” Mary says, “because by the middle of the week I have run out of veggies. I try to eat as healthy as I can, which is limited on a fixed income.”
MOM is funded by community donations and every dollar received goes directly toward the purchase of fresh produce.
Learn more by visiting www.GiveToMOM.org or contact Renee Sherrill at (858) 505-6541.