California’s senior population is growing faster than other groups of the population. That is challenging for a state already facing a lot of senior poverty. However, this is not unique to California. Millions of seniors in the US face economic trouble. Around half of the older adult population gets the majority of their spending money via Social Security checks, and experts expect homelessness to become a bigger problem for seniors, which led to the creation of the Mercy Brown Bag Program.
Stats From the Mercy Brown Bag Program
As the cost of living rises, even seniors who aren’t considered impoverished could face senior homelessness. Around 20% of California seniors cannot afford necessities but don’t qualify for financial assistance. That leaves them having to make tough financial decisions, such as deciding between medications or food.
About This Program
These statistics indicate the need for help among low-income seniors. We at Elder Care Alliance started the Mercy Brown Bag Program as one of our ways to help older adults. This volunteer-driven program offers free services and food to those in need. It is also a “seniors helping seniors” program, meaning that most volunteers are older adults.
How It Helps the Homeless
The Mercy Brown Bag Program helps people experiencing homelessness because volunteers stuffed sacks with nutritious food. Over a year, volunteers from our communities and beyond stuffed hundreds of thousands of bags with millions of pounds of food and distributed them. That helps thousands of homeless and hungry seniors get food that they need.
The Contents of the Bags
Each bag has about 20 pounds of food in it. The food that goes into it is healthy and nutritious for older adults. Aside from filling their bellies, this food will keep them healthy despite their age and potential health concerns. In other words, they will receive health-conscious choices. Some of the items you might find in a bag include:
- Canned foods
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Lean meats
- Healthy grains
Benefits of This Program
Thanks to this program, seniors in need don’t have to decide whether to pay for their medications or buy ingredients to cook their next meal. Some of the homeless population rely on these brown bags to survive. This makes it easier for seniors living in tough financial situations to live a better life.
Volunteering With the Program
As mentioned, this is a seniors helping seniors program. That means that any seniors who have time to volunteer can do so to help others in need. Volunteers can help sort food and pack the bags that go to many different sites for distribution. No matter your skills, if you are ready to help your peers, this program is for you.
Get Involved With Mercy Brown Bag Today
If you’re interested in volunteering, there are many jobs you could help with. Volunteers do everything from sorting food to distributing the bags. Contact us today to learn about your opportunities to get involved with the Mercy Brown Bag Program.