Seniors often find themselves having to choose between paying for necessities such as medication and food. In fact, 1 in 7 of all people 65 and over are living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Supplemental Poverty Measure. That’s 6.4 million of our parents and grandparents struggling daily to put food on the table, pay rent and afford the medical care they need.
Many of our seniors rely solely on Social Security and Medi-Cal to make ends meet, but it is not enough. The average Social Security benefit is just over $1,200 a month. With their limited income like that, more than half of the households served by the Food Bank have had to choose between paying for medicine, medical care, or food. For seniors like Robert (age 66) “the price of medicine keeps going up, but my check stays the same.”
No senior should have to choose between food and the medicine they need. With your help, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is able to provide groceries to more than 3,000 seniors each month through the Senior Food Program. Seniors 55 and over receive nutritionally balanced bags of food so they may not have to make those tough decisions.
Your support of the Food Bank can help senior citizens, like Robert, put food on their tables and still pay for other essentials.
Read stories below from seniors who have received assistance through our Senior Food Program.
Grace Robinson, 73, of Vacaville
Grace Robinson from Vacaville was married, owned a house, and worked until she retired at 62. She and her husband had always been able to meet their financial needs. Everything changed for Grace when her husband passed away in 1999. Now, at 73, her only income is her Social Security, which leaves her about $400 after utilities, mortgage and homeowners association fees.
It was on a trip to Food Bank partner agency, The Vacaville Storehouse a year and a half ago when Grace discovered she could get groceries to stretch her pantry and refrigerator. She divides bread and meat into portions to freeze help stretch her grocery budget. “I could never do as well as I do with proteins without being blessed by the Vacaville Storehouse.”
Your support of the Food Bank can help senior citizens, like Grace, stretch their grocery budgets.
Dollie, 73, from Fairfield (Credit: National Senior Citizens Law Center)
Can you imagine living in your car in your retirement? That’s a reality Dollie, a 73 year old woman from Fairfield, California, faced recently. In poor health and with very limited income, Dollie could no longer keep up with the rising costs of her food, utilities, medications, and rent, and she faced some desperate choices.
At an age when many working Americans are planning their retirement vacations, or spending more time with their grandchildren, Dollie was homeless. She worked all her life, but her limited income and health benefits provided through safety net programs for seniors were simply inadequate.
No senior should have to choose between food and the medicine they need or rent or transportation. Your support of the Food Bank can help ease the burden for senior citizens like Dollie.