Spotlight on Senior Hunger

April 6, 2016

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Alvera Perrone, 75, retired to the Milton area from another state, and quickly realized that after working for 35 years as a bookkeeper, she had no benefits. She was also plagued with health issues and a lack of mobility due to those health problems.

When she called 211, Delaware’s Health and Human Services Helpline, the positive response she received exceeded her expectations.

The Helpline referred Mrs. Perrone to the Food Bank of Delaware for SNAP Outreach assistance.

Crystal, one of our SNAP outreach coordinators, returned Mrs. Perrone’s call, took the application, so this retiree could receive SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) benefits.

Mrs. Perrone praised Crystal’s willingness to help.

“She also checked on my eligibility for the senior food box,” said Mrs. Perrone, referring to one of the Food Bank’s programs that targets senior citizens.

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a federal food program that is designed to improve the health of senior citizens. Food for the program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s agency of Food and Nutrition Service. Seniors over age 60 who meet income qualifications and register for the assistance are able to pick up a box of food each month at community organizations throughout the state.

The CSFP box contains fruit, vegetables, juice, protein, cereal, milk, carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, plus cheese.

“She (Crystal) was definitely very nice and very helpful,” Mrs. Perrone added.

“I got a lot of juices, vegetables liked canned tomatoes, and the cheese. They are all good items, and this saves buying it with my food card.”

And there’s another bonus as well.

“I got things that I might not buy to try, and I get to try it.”

Mrs. Perrone noted that the program accommodated her lack of mobility as well.

“I can’t walk. I drive a cart, and this was really easy. A man took it to the car. It’s all very nice.,” she said.

For more information about the CSFP, please contact Dave Weddle at (302) 444-8129 or dweddle@fbd.org. For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here.

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