The Cycle of Frailty: Help Fight Senior Hunger

Reading a Huffington Post article the other day, the first paragraph read like this…

"'Imagine an older woman who lives up the street who has trouble getting around physically,' says Oregon State researcher Ellen Smit. 'She may be at risk for food insufficiency – hunger – just because she has trouble getting around.'"

Later in the article, the author defines frailty as “a state of decreased physical functioning and/or had complications of aging that increased the risk for falls, disability, or premature mortality.”

It got me thinking about the reason for the Commodity Supplement Food Program. This is a federal program, but is one of the direct service programs that Gleaners Food Bank administers. According to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, the CSFP program is described as such:

CSFP food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the target population.

Here is a picture sampling what might be included in a CSFP box delivered by Gleaners.


Senior frailty is a bad cycle for those who can’t get the proper nutrients. They have trouble leaving the house and getting to the market, they can’t get the proper diet required for strength, and then their frailty increases. With these CSFP boxes, seniors are able to receive the proper nutrition needed to help subside this cycle.

The video below is of a woman who receives meals from the Meals On Wheels Association, but it mirrors the same process for many of our clients receiving the 40 pound box of food each month.