The Community Food Bank (CFB) wants to bring awareness to a difficult issue on the rise – food insecurity among senior citizens. The CFB and its 60+ partnering agencies have seen a steady increase in the number of seniors who rely on food assistance.
“The Nature Coast is one of the most popular areas to retire but unfortunately, it’s not all roses and sunsets for everyone,” explains Barbara Sprague, CEO and Executive Director of the CFB. “Seniors in our area have been hit hard by inflation. Additionally, the high cost of housing has forced many senior citizens to either delay their retirement or follow the new national trend of ‘unretirement’ and go back into the workforce.”
The CFB is seeing a significant number of working seniors finding it difficult to make ends meet. The organization is tackling this issue head on by raising awareness and stepping up to the plate to ensure our area senior citizens have access to the nutritious food they need to sustain their aging bodies.
“We’re currently feeding more than 70,000 neighbors in need each month,” says Sprague. “Five years ago, that number was 30,000. The need has more than doubled. Today, approximately 43% of those served are senior citizens.”
According to Sprague, the CFB is gearing up to help ensure anyone in need is also able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal next week, Christmas meal in December, and a New Year’s meal in January. This is in addition to the food already being provided to the 60+ agencies the CFB serves.
“Holidays can be extremely difficult, especially for seniors,” says Sprague. “Our mission is to End Hunger and Nourish Hope – we often find that the seniors we serve are among those in most need of hope.”
The CFB continues to seek donations and volunteers to help ensure no one goes hungry. Any donation helps, and CFB makes every dollar received go a long way. Every $10 contributed to the CFB provides 100 meals to families right here in our community.
“We invite anyone in a position to help to become a Hunger Hero, offering a lifeline to families in need through your generous donation. Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, every dollar carries the power to transform an empty belly into a full one,” concludes Sprague.