Ever wonder what a Senior Mobile Pantry looks like? Here are some pictures from a recent pantry to give you an idea:
Setting up tables starts the process.
Then volunteers prepare the food for distribution. Here we are sacking meat and produce for today’s pantry.
Check out the selections for today. Thanks to many generous donors, each resident will receive meat, produce, bread and a sack of non-perishables. All will be well received and much needed!
Residents start lining up before we even get to the site. These pantries help to close the food gap for many seniors who are food insecure. Many can’t afford to pay for prescription medications and food all in the same month, so they try to get by without much food. That’s where the Senior Mobile Pantry really helps.
Residents get to select their own produce and bread items after they receive their sacks of meat and non-perishables. Giving them the choice provides them with more of a “shopping” experience, which they truly appreciate.
Smiles are typically the end result at a Senior Mobile Pantry – both for volunteers and for residents. For many of our seniors, the mobile pantry gives them an opportunity to get out and socialize with other residents, which is an added benefit to the program.
Want to add your smile to the mix? Contact me at 405-600-3151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer at a Senior Mobile Pantry.
We are used to immediacy in our culture today. For example, when is the last time your blood pressure went up while waiting in the drive thru for “fast” food? How soon after the light turns green do you honk your horn at the oblivious driver in front of you? How many commercials do you fast forward through to get back to your show that’s sitting on your DVR? We are not used to waiting for anything.
Now imagine that you’re a family in need in Oklahoma. You go to your local DHS office to apply for assistance hoping to gain access to food that day, only to discover that your benefits won’t start until Monday or later. Your cupboard is bare. Your pockets are empty. Every food pantry in the city is closed for the weekend. Would you want to wait 2 days to eat? Me neither.
That’s why the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has partnered with OKDHS to provide an emergency food box program in 61 different offices in Oklahoma. When a client can’t get assistance that day, the pantry provides a 25 pound box of food to get a client through the “food gap” until benefits take effect.
So, the next time you have to wait an extra 60 seconds in the Sonic Drive Thru, keep your blood pressure down by thinking about that family who would not eat without a box of food provided by the Food Bank and OKDHS. Just another way we are fighting hunger in Oklahoma.
Do you remember how much fun it was to go to Grandma’s house in the summer? Her place was always so much more fun than home. She had all that old, cool stuff cluttering up the house- the handmade quilts that smelled like mothballs, the old console TV with the rabbit ears that took 3 minutes to “warm up,” and she had a kitchen that smelled like heaven from dawn till dusk as she cooked food that made your mouth water in anticipation. We loved going to Grandma’s because she took care of everyone and worked hard to make sure everyone was happy and satisfied.
What happens when someone needs to take care of Grandma? This is the grim reality for so many senior adults in 2011. Senior adults are increasingly plagued by poor nutrition and poor health brought on by hunger as a result of financial hardship. The rising costs of prescription drugs, health care, housing, fuel and food are putting more and more Grandmas and Grandpas between a rock and a hard place. They are continuously asking themselves, do I spend my money on medication to keep me alive or food to survive? Not a choice many of us would like to make.
That’s why the Senior Feeding Programs of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma exist. We step into that gap and provide nutritious food for senior adults who need a little something extra to make it through the month. Our Senior Homebound program provides a sack of simple to prepare and eat food for seniors on mobile meal programs. Our Senior Mobile Pantries take a load of groceries, produce, meat, and bread to 10 different low income senior living centers to provide a nutritional boost to seniors at risk of running out of money before they run out of month.
As the new Senior Feeding Program Coordinator, I am proud to be a part of a team that is working diligently to make these programs available to as many seniors in our great state as possible. I am thankful to have a way to give back to a generation of people who have spent their lives making everyone else welcome and comfortable and stronger. It is now my pleasure, and privilege, to return the favor. If you have fond memories of Grandma’s house and would like to give back feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I will provide you a volunteer opportunity that will give you a way to give back to some amazing seniors in our state.