Seniors often find themselves having to choose between paying for necessities such as medication and food. In fact, nearly one in five older Californians are not able to afford enough food.
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. It is critical that we increase the availability of targeted nutrition assistance programs to provide seniors with the food they need to maintain a healthy life style.
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, a member of Feeding America, is committed to providing nutrition to senior citizens but we need your help. Senior Food Program participant Ron has worked three jobs his entire life and it is difficult to accept the idea that he and his wife, Rosa, need help with food. The Senior Food Program provides groceries that supplement the food Ron is able to buy, and stretches his hard-earned dollars. Your donation to the Food Bank can help senior citizens, like Ron and Rosa, eat better and enjoy healthier food.
Read stories below from seniors who have received assistance through our Senior Food Program. Real names are not used.
Velia and Charlie, Vallejo Senior Food Program
Velia – a retired RN – and her husband, Charlie, cannot live on their disability alone. The Senior Food Program really helps supplement their resources. Velia says, “We are so low-income we can barely pay the bills. We really like the Farmer’s Market coupons (referring to the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program that gives coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income seniors). I know fresh fruit and vegetables are really important for good nutrition.” For Velia and Charlie the food at the Senior Food Program lasts a while. “We don’t need to come here every time. I look for the food ads and only buy what is on sale except things I have to get like milk and eggs. You don’t really have a choice on those.” Velia tells us that they are not getting cost of living increases this year and how grateful she and Charlie are for this program. “Years ago we used to donate to the Food Bank and the Christian Help Center.”
Thaddeus, Walnut Creek Senior Food Program
“Thaddeus is my biblical name. I speak French, German, Italian, Russian,” he said with an accent lingering from the five years he says he lived in France.
The 90-year-old former translator (who says he can read many literary classics in their original language) has been coming to the monthly Food Bank distribution for about six months.
“I lost my job at 65,” the Pleasant Hill resident said. “I’m here because of low old-age pension. Every year my costs are going up. Now I don’t have enough money for food and my living expenses. When you get old, they don’t care anymore. It’s very cruel,” he said as he gave one of his bags of food to his friend who came to help.