A group experiencing an increasing need for FOOD Share’s support in Ventura County is its senior citizens —in fact, seniors make up the fastest-growing group facing food insecurity. The percentage of county seniors living in poverty climbed to 7.7 percent – 7,575 people – from 6.3 percent, a 23.4 percent increase in four years, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics. FOOD Share, Ventura County’s regional food bank, has developed two programs specifically geared to help these seniors.
• The Senior Nutrition Program provides home-delivered, frozen prepared meals for five days as well as supplemental food to 126 homebound seniors age 60 and over in Ventura and Oxnard.
• The SENIOR Share Program provides supplemental bags of groceries for 1,900 low income seniors age 55 and over at 32 sites throughout Ventura County.
FOOD Share’s programs meet a continuously increasing need; Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, predicts the number of older adults to experience food insecurity is projected to increase by 36 percent over the next decade.
“This eye-opening data tells us that there are many seniors out there that need our help, but are not seeking it,” explains Bonnie Weigel, president and CEO of FOOD Share. “It’s saddening to know that so many seniors struggle with food insecurity and the issue is expected to worsen over time. It is important that they know FOOD Share has programs that will help them through these tough times.”
Seniors eligible for FOOD Share’s programs must provide proof that they are age 60 or over, and prove their total monthly income does not exceed $2,550 for a single-member household, or $2,916 for two-member households. Varieties of food provided include: fruit and vegetables, bread, canned goods, specialty items and more. Most distribution sites provide bi-weekly bags for qualified clients.
For more information about FOOD Share’s senior assistance programs, visit http://www.foodshare.com/
Board of Supervisors Event:
What: The County of Ventura Board of Supervisors will adopt a proclamation in honor of Hunger Action Month and will recognize FOOD Share and its 162 partner agencies for the work they do to alleviate hunger in Ventura County
When: Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m.
Where: Ventura County Government Center in the Hall of Administration
800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura, Calif. 93009
About FOOD Share:
The food bank distributing millions of pounds of food each year to those in need throughout Ventura County, FOOD Share collects and receives food year-round, distributing through more than 162 pantry partner agencies throughout Ventura County, including Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Oak View, Ojai, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Somis, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.
FOOD Share provides food to more than 74,500 people each month countywide through its partner agencies and multiple programs. Programs include the Senior Brown Bag that provides supplemental nutrition to nearly 2,000 low income seniors, home delivered meals and supplemental groceries through the Oxnard and Ventura Senior Nutrition Programs and, the Kids’ Farmers’ Markets, offering nutrition education, healthy recipe preparation and taste testing and a farmers’ market free fresh produce “shopping experience.”
In 2011, FOOD Share partnered with Ventura County’s Human Services Agency to provide expanded CalFresh enrollment assistance. CalFresh, formerly called food stamps, is the largest federal nutrition assistance program that provides supplemental nutrition assistance to eligible Ventura County residents. In May 2013, FOOD Share established a partnership with Southern California Gas to further expand and support the hungry individuals the food bank serves. The Southern California Gas CARE Program provides a further source of support to individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. The CARE program provides relief through discounted gas utility bills for individuals and families.
For more information: