Matt Harray – Direct Service Program Manager
How do we help seniors?
Senior Food Program distributions take place twice a month and are held at churches, senior centers and senior housing facilities. Seniors are able to get two bags of groceries which typically consist of items such as bread, pasta, canned goods, cheese and produce. We have 3500 households participating at 33 sites. It’s an incredible network.
What challenges are you facing in trying to feed seniors in this COVID-19 age?
We understand the concerns that seniors might have about leaving their homes to get food at a Senior Food Program distribution, and our response to that is we believe our sites are a safer alternative to going to a grocery store. Our distributions are held in large spaces and have fewer people. We control the supply chain and we control who is onsite volunteering. We understand we are serving a very vulnerable population, so we have put many safety protocols in place.
Who is eligible to participate in the Senior Food Program?
Anyone 55 or older who meets the income guidelines can come sign-up for the free program in their city or nearby city if they bring the following items with them:
- Valid government ID
- Proof they reside in Contra Costa County or Solano County (example: phone bill or PG&E bill)
- Two reusable bags (encouraged)
For distribution times, dates and locations, please visit foodbankccs.org/getfood or call 855-309-3663 (FOOD).
Usually we bring a little extra food for walk-ups, so there is a good chance seniors could be given groceries the same day they register for the program.
What else should seniors know?
Adults qualifying for the Senior Food Program can also participate in the Food Assistance Program and our Community Produce Program. We want seniors to get enough proper nutrition to keep themselves as healthy as possible. Also, don’t forget that as of last year, seniors receiving SSI can also apply for CalFresh.
Read other interviews from some of our frontline Program staff
- Anna Gorman – Child Programs and Extra Helpings Administrator
- Nick Clark – Community Produce Program Administrator