Reaching vulnerable senior citizens through SNAP Outreach
March 30, 2017
Food Bank of Delaware SNAP Outreach Coordinators, Dan Jackson and Ian Lawrence, have recently spent a significant amount of time conducting outreach sessions at senior centers and senior housing units throughout the state of Delaware. The results of this outreach campaign have been overwhelmingly successful, but have also induced the realization that there are a huge number of forgotten seniors in our community who are in tremendous need but who do not possess the resources necessary to resolve their plight. Regrettably, so many elderly residents in Delaware spend their golden years hidden away in a lonely apartment, rarely getting company and finding themselves unable to meet their own basic financial needs.
The Social Security benefits which most senior citizens receive are sadly often inadequate to cover rent, travel, medical expenses, food, pet care, etc., leaving many upstanding elderly individuals, who have spent their entire lives working hard to achieve a better life, in a very stressful, seemingly irresolvable condition of poverty. As one senior citizen noted during her appointment with our SNAP Outreach team:
“Ever since my husband passed away, I’ve found it very difficult to get by. I’m sad that I now have to choose between life-saving medical expenses and buying decent food to keep myself healthy. I’ve been working since I was 16, but I have nothing to show for it.”
By visiting senior housing centers throughout Delaware and helping elderly residents sign up for food stamps, the Food Bank’s SNAP Outreach team is doing its best to alleviate the widespread tragedy of senior poverty afflicting our state. The continual feedback from this initiative has been unanimously positive, and the seniors whom Dan and Ian encounter are incredibly grateful for both the Food Bank and for the SNAP program.
There is still much more work to be done, however, in order to ensure that our treasured elderly citizens are able to live out their final years happily and without the stress of worrying about how they will make ends meet. Moreover, it falls not only on the SNAP Outreach team, nor on the Food Bank of Delaware, but on every Delawarean, indeed, every American, to ensure that our senior citizens are well taken care of. They deserve it!
If you know a senior citizen (or anyone else) who is struggling to afford food, and who you think might benefit from food stamps, please encourage them to call the Food Bank of Delaware’s SNAP Helpline at (302) 444-8073 to speak with an outreach coordinator who will be happy to help them fill out an application.