Each month, the Food Bank serves more than 116,000 neighbors – working families, children, and seniors. But after children, the biggest number of clients we support is seniors. They’re grandparents, volunteers, and leaders in our community.
However, the rising cost of living poses a challenge for many older adults living on fixed or limited incomes.
Take 67-year-old Rhonda, for example. For her family, money is tight. Though she works full time at a restaurant, the money she makes isn’t enough to cover all of her family’s needs.
“[The cost of living] is horrible. My son-in-law’s entire paycheck goes to pay rent,” Rhonda said. “I needed help.”
When a friend told her about one of our Mobile Pantries a year ago, Rhonda was relieved and thankful for the groceries she could bring home, especially the healthy options.
“Sometimes I don’t have any money to buy these types of food. Eggs, veggies, fresh fruit,” she said.
Rhonda lives with her grandsons and son-in-law. She says without the Food Bank, they’d all eat less.
That’s the case for many older people in our community. The Alameda County Commission on Aging reports one in four older adults earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line, about $23,000 per year for a one-person household. And, according to the National Council for Aging Care, one in six seniors in the U.S. faces the threat of hunger.
May is Older Americans Month, a time when the Food Bank celebrates our senior community. It’s our goal to ensure neighbors like Rhonda have access to nourishing food that supports their health, well-being, and security so our community’s seniors can continue to lead vibrant, independent lives.