FOOD Share of Ventura County is one of just four California food banks recently selected in a competitive bid process to administer a USDA-funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for seniors 60 years of age and older. FOOD Share anticipates enrolling a monthly caseload of 3,500 seniors in the CSFP program and serving them through various distribution points across the county.
One in 12 seniors in Ventura County is hungry, a staggering statistic that is consistent with national numbers detailing the challenges faced by the nation’s fastest growing demographic group. Seven million seniors age 60 and older are served by the Feeding America network each year (Feeding America Senior Hunger Facts). 63% of this population reports choosing between medical care and food, 60% must sacrifice basic utilities or go hungry, and 58% forego transportation in order to eat (Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger After 50, 2013). Perhaps even more poignant is that 77% buy cheap, unhealthy food in an attempt to meet their basic caloric needs (Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger After 50, 2013).
FOOD Share’s administration of the CSFP nutrition program will address these specific senior challenges on a local level by providing “Senior Kits” on a once-monthly basis to qualifying participants age 60 and older whose income is equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty level, or $15,444 per year. Working in collaboration with the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, the regional food bank currently has five CSFP distribution sites in Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Fillmore, and Thousand Oaks. Additional distribution sites across the county are expected in the coming months.
“Seniors have always been a high priority for FOOD Share because we understand the significant challenges they face accessing the quality food sources and nutrition they need to live healthy lives,” said Susan Haverland, FOOD Share’s Vice President of Programs and Services.
Seniors can enroll in the program during a distribution event and receive food immediately. Participation in the program requires a simple application, verification of age and residence using a photo ID and utility or other bill, and self-certification of income (no additional documentation required). Seniors who receive food from FOOD Share’s CSFP program are still eligible for CalFresh food stamp benefits. For more information on upcoming distribution dates and locations, seniors can contact their local senior center or visit www.foodshare.com.
Upcoming Senior Nutrition Program Monday April 3rd from 9am-11am at the Ventura Salvation Army
650 S. Petit Ave. Ventura.