Archive for the 'Senior Hunger' Category

January 14, 2019

Assistance during the Government Shut Down

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

Dear Partner Agencies,

As I am sure you are aware, the government shutdown is entering its 3rd week. This shutdown affects all “non-essential” federal government employees, TSA agents, park rangers, congressional staff etc. Many of these furloughed employees have been working without pay, which is a tremendous strain on them and their families. We are hearing of an increase in need for people in our community to put food on their table. Many of these folks have not faced this situation before.

Please be sensitive to the needs and feelings of these individuals. This may be their first visit to a food pantry and they may not feel comfortable. We suggest that you be flexible with any intake processes you have, especially regarding income since this is a population that may not normally qualify for assistance.

We are monitoring this situation closely and are very aware of the potential hardship that may occur as your agency attempts to feed those in need. We are currently sending any referrals that we receive at the food bank to our Food Finder on our website that will direct them to a pantry or feeding program near them. If this situation is not resolved soon, we will explore additional ways to support you and your agency to provide relief to these clients.

We have a special section on our website with information about this situation. You can check back for updates. The current info is pasted below.

If you are seeing an increase in clients, please notify us immediately so that we can stay on top of this situation and evaluate next steps in supporting you.

Thank you for all that you do for those in need.

Government Shutdown 2019

If you have been affected by the government shutdown please reach out to us for help.

  • Online: Visit our Food Finder tool online to find your local food pantries.  
  • Phone: Call our main number 407-295-1066 to receive a list of food pantries.
  • Visit our community resources page if you need other types of assistance. 

Who does this affect?

The shutdown affects all “non-essential” federal government employees. This means people like TSA agents, park rangers, Congressional staff, staff for whole departments, like USDA.

Because the shutdown has lasted nearly 3 weeks, many of these “furloughed” employees have been working without pay. There’s a lot of uncertainty about how these individuals will be able to pay rent, or how they’ll be able to put food on the table. Approximately 800,000 federal workers and federal contractors have been furloughed without pay for an indefinite period, and it is expected that paychecks for federal workers and contractors will not arrive as scheduled.

It will also affect the 710,000 Central Floridians who use SNAP to put food on their tables. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is funded by the federal government and faces a February deadline for funding.

Other programs such as WIC and Child Nutrition Programs will have funding through February too.

How we will help

Since SNAP (formaly called Food Stamps) has funding through February, we won’t see an immediate impact for this program, but we are already seeing an uptick in searches for feeding partners to find food. We’ve received a few questions from furloughed employees who need resources to assist them during the government shutdown.

We’ve estimated that if this shutdown continues for a few months, we’d have a roughly $500,000 shortfall due to government contracts such as Head Start, after school meals, and others. Once the shutdown ends, we’ll be reimbursed for our social entrepreneurship services.

This equals to approximately 1 million meals that will disappear from Central Florida.

We will not be cutting any services and we will always find a way to continue to support our feeding partners in Central Florida

September 21, 2015

Senior Nutrition at Plymouth Apartments

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

Plymouth Plate PicChef Terah recently led a class for seniors at the Plymouth Apartments in Winter Park. They discussed senior health and nutrition, in addition to a cooking demonstration featuring black eyed pea salad.

The residents of this active independent living facility were quite interested in nutrition. They had many questions for Chef Terah, which made for a very engaging class. We took a few moments to ask Ivonne Jimenez, Community Assistant at the Plymouth, a few questions about the clients she serves.

 Why do you feel nutrition is important for the population you serve?

 Ivonne: Nutrition is very important for everyone, especially seniors. One in ten seniors in America is at risk of experiencing hunger at any time during any given month. The senior hunger problem is only getting worse as social programs and services experience budget cuts. Hunger at any age is a serious concern, but for seniors, a lack of nutritious food can have a considerable impact on health and independence. Seniors at risk of being hungry, are less likely to be in excellent or very good health, and more likely to be diabetic, suffer from depression, and other illnesses related to poor nutrition.

As you might expect, poverty is one big reason why seniors go hungry. But money is only part of the problem. As we age, tasks like grocery shopping and cooking meals can become increasingly difficult. This can create a dangerous downward spiral of poor health and decreased independence.

Your residents were very receptive to learning about cooking and nutrition. How do you engage residents to participate in nutrition education?

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