Second Harvest Food Bank Places Focus on Hungry Senior Citizens Throughout May

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, the leading provider of food for hungry people in need throughout Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, is working to bring attention to the issue of hunger within the Mahoning Valley’s senior population during the month of May, which is also known as Older Americans Month nationally.

 

Since 1963, May has been designated as the month for residents of the United States to appreciate and celebrate older adults and their contributions to our communities. Feeding America food banks, including Second Harvest, participate by raising awareness and providing support for seniors facing hunger in our country. Feeding America food banks provide emergency food assistance for more than three million seniors each year.

 

“We meet many seniors at the soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters we serve who are attempting to live what should be their golden years on social security checks of $700 or less,” said Second Harvest Executive Director Mike Iberis. “Due to the tough economic climate, this is now a reality for even more younger seniors as they find themselves unemployed or underemployed. While we focus on getting food to hungry seniors year-round, we make it a point to bring attention to the issue during Older Americans Month.”

 

To reach seniors in rural areas of the Mahoning Valley, the Food Bank has created Mobile Pantry Programs that deliver food to residents living in underserved areas or areas where no food pantry exists. With widespread community support, Second Harvest is working to ensure that seniors in need are provided with nutritious food for a healthy life. Second Harvest is looking into further expanding Mobile Pantry Programs.

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, the leading provider of food for hungry people in need throughout Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, is working to bring attention to the issue of hunger within the Mahoning Valley’s senior population during the month of May, which is also known as Older Americans Month nationally.

 

Since 1963, May has been designated as the month for residents of the United States to appreciate and celebrate older adults and their contributions to our communities. Feeding America food banks, including Second Harvest, participate by raising awareness and providing support for seniors facing hunger in our country. Feeding America food banks provide emergency food assistance for more than three million seniors each year.

 

“We meet many seniors at the soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters we serve who are attempting to live what should be their golden years on social security checks of $700 or less,” said Second Harvest Executive Director Mike Iberis. “Due to the tough economic climate, this is now a reality for even more younger seniors as they find themselves unemployed or underemployed. While we focus on getting food to hungry seniors year-round, we make it a point to bring attention to the issue during Older Americans Month.”

 

To reach seniors in rural areas of the Mahoning Valley, the Food Bank has created Mobile Pantry Programs that deliver food to residents living in underserved areas or areas where no food pantry exists. With widespread community support, Second Harvest is working to ensure that seniors in need are provided with nutritious food for a healthy life. Second Harvest is looking into further expanding Mobile Pantry Programs.

 

“Many older people served by our mobile pantries do not have other resources for nutritious food,” Iberis said. “Recently, we heard from an older food recipient at a local mobile pantry distribution. She broke down in tears and said she couldn’t remember the last time she ate meat because it’s just too expensive for her budget, and instead she eats a lot of canned vegetables. But the mobile pantry is a welcome resource of nutrition for her.”  Iberis added that although food insecurity — not having access to enough food for an active or healthy life — affects people of all ages, seniors are particularly vulnerable because they have unique nutritional needs related to aging and/or medical conditions. According to the study Hunger in America 2010, 30 percent of seniors who rely on our local food pantries for help report that they have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medical care.

 

A recent research report, titled Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans, finds that food insecure seniors are more likely to have a lower nutrient intake and to be at a higher risk for chronic health conditions and depression. To avoid making difficult decisions between food and healthcare, seniors at risk often depend on local food pantries for help. Among those visiting a food pantry aged 65 or older, more than half reported visiting a pantry on a monthly basis, the highest of any age group.

 

“We encourage the residents of the Mahoning Valley to take an active role in assisting seniors overall during the month of May,” Iberis said. “And, in particular we want to make sure hungry seniors get the nutrition they need. Together, we can provide food and hope to seniors and families in need in our community.”

 

IF YOU are in need of food dial 211 or call in
Columbiana & Mahoning Counties: (330) 747-2696; Trumbull County: (330) 393-1565

If you have a school-aged child in need of breakfast and lunch this summer, simply text FOOD to 877877 and receive a message back with a location closest to where they can get free summer meals.

The Food Bank's mission is to solicit, store, and distribute food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties; and to provide education and advocacy. We believe that no one should go hungry, and we are dedicated to building a community that makes food accessible to all people.

So no one goes hungry.

Feeding America logo link Ohio Associations of Foodbanks logo link United Way logo link Better Business Bureau logo link

 

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