Nutrition and health go together. But it’s easy to forget, especially for seniors who lack the resources to purchase healthy foods either due to lack of finances, education, isolation, or transportation. One program based in North Carolina decided to tackle this issue by launching a food shuttle program for seniors that highlights the importance of nutrition, education, and access to food. The program represents one way to address food security among seniors.
Linking Food and Education for Seniors
The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Chatham County, North Carolina launched a program to feed and educate vulnerable seniors as part of its “We Love Seniors” month in February. Called FAERS, the Food Access and Education for Rural Seniors Living with Type 2 Diabetes program provides seniors with food bags twice a month that include non-perishable items and produce like potatoes, carrots, brown rice, and green beans. All foods included are healthy for diabetics to have, and they supplement existing food supplies.
The Food Shuttle also provides participants with grocery gift cards to buy extra food items and booklets with shopping lists. They also hold monthly Zoom calls for seniors to give them tools to improve health and eating habits.
The organization says it was inspired to create the program, in part, due to the pandemic. Seniors have been impacted by COVID-19 and as a result, the rates of food insecurity have increased.
Food Insecurity and Health
Food insecurity has been a problem for seniors before the pandemic hit. It leads to health issues like worsening anxiety and depression, reduced muscle mass, increased hypertension, lack of ability to care for themselves, and an increased risk for falls. The ability to obtain quality food due to lack of access or ability to leave the house are common barriers for seniors.
In fact, a lack of a support system like friends or family that can help seniors get access to the quality food they need, contribute to food insecurity. With the help of a caregiver, some of these issues can be remedied with assistance.
At Optimal Senior Care Solutions, we want to see senior clients in Orange County and Newport Beach thrive. That’s why we offer services such as our homemaking service, which can include assistance with grocery shopping and meal preparation. To learn more about the services we provide, reach out to our team of senior care experts today.