Imagine simply not having enough to eat. Going hungry. Or literally starving.
Across the United States, millions of senior citizens face hunger, often being put in the impossible position of deciding whether to put their limited income toward groceries or other necessities, such as medicine or utilities. This epidemic affecting America’s aging is especially alarming in Alabama, where the rate of food insecurity among seniors is the second-highest in the nation and double the national average. Here in the five-county area of Central Alabama alone, more than 25,000 seniors – roughly the entire population of Homewood – regularly go without food or don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
The Bold Goals Coalition wants to change that. The Bold Goals Coalition is 200 organizations solving big community problems by aligning partners, resources and agendas. With the implementation of the new Senior Grocery Program, more than 1,000 low-income seniors will be able to make it through the month without missing a meal, thanks to deliveries of free, healthy groceries.
These deliveries will focus on providing seniors with vital nutrients that their diets often lack, such as proteins, grains, and vegetables. Groceries will be delivered to convenient locations to make it easy for people to access the program. Some participants may pick up groceries at their doctor’s office, while others may visit a food pantry near their home. Some groceries will even be delivered right to their front door.
To ensure this program reaches those who need it most, the Bold Goals Coalition is conducting outreach and data collection by including questionnaires that screen for food insecurity in medical intake forms, and by working with senior housing facilities.
The Senior Grocery Program couldn’t happen without the involvement of several Bold Goals Coalition partners, including the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, East Lake Community Development, Grace Klein, UAB’s Geriatrics & Family Medicine Clinics and Blazer Kitchen.
Knowing that our community’s seniors face food insecurity keeps us working to find solutions so that no one in Central Alabama goes hungry. The Senior Grocery Program moves us closer to that reality.
For more information, please contact Jamie McLynn of the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama at firstname.lastname@example.org.