Partners in the fight against senior hunger

Partners in the fight against senior hunger image
Feeding America recently released an updated State of Senior Hunger. Did you know that across the United States 1 in 12 seniors are food insecure? In Indiana, 7.9% of seniors are food insecure, with that number jumping to 9.5% in Indianapolis. Indy is home to the 11th worst food insecurity rate for seniors of 51 surveyed metro areas. We must do more to support our senior neighbors in need, and thanks to the support of generous partners in our community, we can.

As Older Americans Month comes to a close, we wanted to thank our partners in senior hunger relief: Anthem, OrthoIndy Foundation, and The Central Indiana Senior Fund, a CICF Fund. Thanks to their support, Gleaners can continue to provide food for today and hope for tomorrow for seniors in our community, including nutritious meal-making items senior need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Seniors are often faced with the difficulty of gaining access to resources in their communities. For this reason, the Senior Hunger Initiative was created featuring both food pantry and mobile pantry distributions. This program was designed to provide clients with choice, along with a variety of nutritious foods, including fresh produce. These programs work to fulfill the needs of seniors age 55 and over that fall outside the reach of other pantries in the area. Hear from a few seniors on the impact of the Senior Hunger Initiative.

"I’m so thankful for Gleaners, as my medical bills are high. I don’t have money for food and I do not qualify for assistance. I am diabetic and my insulin is 33% of what I have each month. I am so thankful for the help you give." - Penny

Our Senior Mobile Pantries allow individuals to select nutritious foods that meet their dietary and personal needs. Mobile trucks arrive stocked, ready to bring food into the communities where seniors live. We provide monthly Senior Mobile Pantries in ten counties within our service area.

“I had to find a way to feed my family. My wife and I have been married for 30 years and our daughter, son-in-law and young granddaughter also live in the home. Coming here means we know our little granddaughter won’t go hungry. It has given us one less thing to worry about.” - Don

Senior Shopping Day pantries operate in two ways; some locations hold Senior Shopping Days for persons 55 and over, while others provide a separate shopping area with foods geared specifically towards senior nutrition. Our friends at OrthoIndy support 5 Senior Shopping Day locations, including one right here at Gleaners CHH Community Cupboard. These locations serve as many as 11,000 seniors and 1,200 veterans each year.

"When asked what one woman most appreciated receiving, she replied, 'fruit'! She was thrilled with getting the fruit and a head of cabbage. This produce was a great tool for her and her family. There were many folks thanking us for being here, and it was easy to see how grateful they are to Gleaners for providing this food. Today we had apples, carrots and bananas for our seniors to take home and enjoy."

Poor health can often be both a cause and consequence of food insecurity and poorer nutrition increases the risk for disease and challenges of disease management. The Central Indiana Senior Fund, a CICF Fund, has supported produce initiatives for seniors to ensure all Hoosiers have access to fresh, which help promote the improvement of the impact of hunger on health.