More seniors face food insecurity today than during the Great Recession. Two thirds of them have incomes above the poverty line. One quarter of hungry seniors only have charitable food programs to rely on because they do not qualify for federal nutrition assistance. The major barriers seniors face in obtaining and cooking nutritious foods are mobility, food consumption, and transportation.*
Feeding Seniors Through Coordination and Education
Identify Needy Seniors - Revive Neighborliness
SAGA works to keep neighbors engaged in their neighborhoods so that when a senior needs food, the neighbors know it and act. Ahwatukee is a Phoenix uban village. The risk of neighborhoods becoming disconnected is real.
Many seniors live far from family. Friends and neighbors become family. Generally, homes are close together and fenced. Neighbors tend to come and go through their garages. They may know the people at work better than they know their neighbors. Backyards are their oasis. When they do get out front they run or walk with ear buds rocking their favorite tunes. SAGA encourages residents to make an extra effort to meet their neighbors.
Knowing and checking on your neighbors is critical.
Coordinate Food Sources
Community businesses and organizations working together to provide food for seniors is efficient. A central location with many contributors and volunteers is ideal. It eliminates the confusion and duplication that occurs when a village does not have a plan for distribution.
With your help, SAGA provides senior friendly food and oversees its efficient distribution so hungry seniors do not miss a meal.
Promote Senior Friendly Food
For some seniors a gallon of milk is too heavy to pour. A bagel is too tough to chew. A can opener is impossible for an arthritic senior to use. Biting into an apple or using a knife to slice it can be scary.
SAGA promotes donations of foods that a senior is able to use. For example, smaller milk and juice containers, packaged tuna rather than canned, and precut fruit. Healthier sweets are also important since a senior’s sense of taste for them is strongest.