For millions of Americans over the age of 60, what were supposed to be the “golden years” of retirement, aren’t so golden in reality. Visions of a stable post-work life full of relaxation, frequent travels, and enjoying time together, are soon forgotten. Instead, they are faced with a fixed income, declining health, and many tough choices.
The fixed, and often limited, income that older Americans frequently find themselves with forces them to make tough choices on a daily basis: Do I pay for my medicine or buy food for the week? Do I pay my water bill or feed my family? Unfortunately, these tough choices usually lead to even more problems, as this improper nutrition only increases the likelihood of other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. All of these factors together cause many of those living in our region to seek the assistance of their local feeding programs.
This can be hard for many of us to fathom – how can this happen in the world’s richest nation? But in the 42 counties served by Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, more than 47,000 seniors receive assistance each year through their local food pantries, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and other assistance programs. That’s 27% of everyone we serve, well above the national average of 17%.
Given the fact that so many seniors rely on this assistance, it is imperative for regional food banks, such as Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, and community members to continue to work together to strengthen and support healthy aging. For more information about services available to senior citizens, to volunteer, sponsor a fundraiser or food drive, or to make a secure, online donation to Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, call (270) 769-6997 or Click Here.