Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope has joined in an effort to provide food boxes to seniors age 60 and over.
The Grand Junction-based food bank works with Everyday Eats to provide EverGreen Boxes. The food box program provides non-perishable items from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Supplemental Food Program, including canned vegetables and fruits, cereal, juice, milk, proteins and grains.
The boxes are available to adults 60 and older who meet income requirements and distributed the third Thursdays of the month from 11 a.m. to noon at the Fruita Community Center and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in Palisade. Seniors in need who don’t qualify for the EverGreen Boxes can still receive food boxes from Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope.
The effort comes as a COVID-19 pandemic expansion of benefits offered through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ended.
“Older adults have been the most affected by the end of the emergency SNAP benefits, and we are happy to help our most vulnerable neighbors to provide them with the food they need,” said Sue Ellen Rodwick, director of Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope.
According to a 2021 study released in April by Feeding America, one out of every 14 seniors ages 60 and older is food insecure. The USDA defines food insecurity as a condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.
For older adults, food insecurity is caused by a variety of circumstances, including not only income, but also disabilities, isolation and lack of transportation. Older adults with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be food insecure, according to Feeding America.
The results of food insecurity for older adults can including malnutrition and poor health outcomes.
For more information about the EverGreen Boxes program, call 464-1138. For more about food assistance, visit the Food Bank of the Rockies website at www.foodbankrockies.org or call 211.