When you think about hunger in America, the first images that come to mind are those of children and families. But the face of hunger is changing. Seniors are now the fastest growing food insecure population in the country.
According to Feeding America, 1 in 11 seniors are food insecure, meaning they have or have had problems getting food and develop anxiety over when and where their next meal will come from. To help combat senior hunger in the Quad Cities the Center For Active Seniors, Inc. (CASI) has launched a Senior Emergency Food Pantry.
The pantry is a program provided through CASI’s Senior Advocacy Department in partnership with the River Bend Foodbank and Feeding America. The pantry is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, and is available to individuals age 60 and older.
“CASI’s Senior Advocates have been providing food assistance to older adults for many years thanks to generous donations from area food retailers like Target and Hy-Vee, said Kathy Horrell, Director of Senior Services. “Partnering with the River Bend Foodbank allows CASI to expand this service to the growing number of hungry seniors in our community.”
A 2014 study in Iowa showed that more than 19% of the state’s older adults were facing the threat of, or were at risk for hunger while an additional 1.5% of seniors met the definition of hungry. These individuals reported they had enough money to purchase food but did not have the resources to access or prepare food due to lack of transportation, functional limitations, or health problems.
In addition to receiving pantry items, recipients will meet with a CASI Senior Advocate to see what other programs and services they can utilize that could reduce their insecurity.
“Our hope is that the Senior Emergency Food Pantry will not only provide nutritional assistance but also connect older adults with programs and services that will help them overcome these obstacles,” added Horrell.
CASI’s Senior Emergency Food Pantry is located at 1035 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport, IA. Quad City seniors needing emergency assistance can stop by in person or call 563-386-7477 and ask to speak with a Senior Advocate. CASI’s Senior Advocacy program is a free community outreach program that benefits more than 1,200 older adults annually. To learn more about this program or to donate, call CASI at 563.386.7477 or visit casiseniors.org
Dedicated to serving seniors in the greater Quad Cities area, CASI boasts daily activities, classes, community forums, a fitness center and educational activities. CASI has a professional staff dedicated to the advocacy of seniors and all issues facing our aging population. Additionally, CASI operates Jane’s Place, the only adult day service facility in eastern Iowa. Jane’s Place serves seniors with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s or those who need socialization. Jane’s Place also provides caregiver respite.