How Brown Bag Is Combatting Growing Senior Hunger
There is an alarming trend growing among seniors throughout the nation. According to AARP, more than 5 million adults aged 60 and older are food insecure. These adults regularly go hungry because they can’t afford the food they need. Disability, low income and poor health are all common reasons for senior hunger.
Food insecurity doesn’t just cause hunger. It’s also been linked to malnutrition and generally poor health. These two factors can lead to a greater susceptibility to illness and disease. Providing food to food-insecure people can reduce hunger while boosting overall health and wellness.
COVID-19 and Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic caused major economic shocks throughout the world. The physical impact of it affected seniors disproportionately and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Although the world has recovered physically from the worst aspects of the pandemic, there are still lasting repercussions.
Economic recovery has been slow and has caused a drastic increase in the cost of daily living. Groceries, housing and medical supplies have become more expensive and contributed to the senior hunger crisis. As of 2019, it’s estimated that more than one in nine seniors in and around Oakland alone struggle to get sufficient food. This number is only expected to grow as more Americans grow older.
How Mercy Brown Bag Is Helping
Through the Mercy Brown Bag program, we provide seniors in need with bags full of healthy foods such as canned goods, lean proteins, healthy grains and fresh produce. These bags are free and are prepared by loving volunteers who donate thousands of hours to help sort and distribute life-saving groceries.
We have been feeding hungry seniors for 40 years. Last year, volunteers dedicated more than 21,000 hours to combat senior hunger through the Mercy Brown Bag program. With their help, we fed more than 8,000 seniors who have gone hungry otherwise.
Making a Difference
In addition to fighting senior hunger with bags of lovingly-packed food, the Mercy Brown Bag program also seeks to promote legislative changes that benefit low-income residents. We understand that state funding is critical to providing food-insecure seniors with the nutrition they need to survive and thrive. If you would like to be involved in this cause, we invite you to reach out to us and join us.
Together, we can push for a change that will help seniors dealing with food insecurity. As inflation continues to skyrocket and the cost of living becomes unattainable for many older adults, it becomes even more essential to do everything in our power to take care of the food insecure.
Stopping Senior Hunger Together
No senior should have to worry about where their next meal will come from. At Mercy Brown Bag, we encourage seniors to reach out to us. Whether you want to volunteer your time to help others or you are in need of food assistance, contact us today.