Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month and this year the focus is around aging in place. Aging in place is defined as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level. A key component of aging in place is addressing the nutrition needs of our seniors. Over five million seniors are food insecure according to the State of Senior Hunger report from Feeding America.
Eating the right foods can help older adults reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. The Idaho Foodbank is proud to serve seniors through a variety of our programs and partnerships. A healthy diet may also help reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. We know that seniors who are food insecure receive lower levels of nutrients like iron, calcium and protein.
We partner with 34 Senior Centers across the state to provide healthy, nutritious food to seniors. In addition to those collaborations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) aims to improve the health of low-income individuals who are at least 60 years of age by providing boxes of nutritious food. In fiscal year 2021, The Idaho Foodbank and our partners distributed over 25,000 CSFP senior food boxes through 61 statewide distribution locations. Dianne Burnette, The Idaho Foodbank’s CSFP Data Administrator, has observed that, “The seniors are very appreciative to receive the food. It is fun to listen to their life stories and they seem to appreciate a listening ear. It is very heartwarming to know that you have helped a neighbor improve their nutrition security.”
In addition to these programs tailored to serving seniors facing food insecurity, we also have our mobile pantries. The Idaho Foodbank hosts 50 mobile pantries across the state that operate on a monthly or quarterly basis to provide food to communities across Idaho, including our seniors.
We are proud to serve seniors through direct programs of The Foodbank, as well as with our partner organizations. Working together, we can provide more seniors with the nutritious food they need to age in place and live a healthy life.