FISH has launched a meal delivery service for eligible seniors who don’t have transportation to the food pantry.
The program is part of a year-long pilot project with Lafayette-based Food Finders Food Bank, which has been working to curb food insecurity among seniors.
FISH clients ages 60 and older who are disabled or homebound can sign up to have meals delivered once every two weeks. The meals include fresh fruit, milk and easy-to-prepare food, all tailored to the client’s dietary needs.
The program currently has seven clients and the meals are delivered by volunteers from Rock Point Church.
Participants can sign up to receive or deliver meals by calling the hotline at 765-362-FISH. Clients are asked to provide their name, date of birth, address and telephone number.
America is starting to claw its way out of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but food insecurity persists, especially for older adults.
“We are seeing more elderly [people] come in,” said Ellen Simpson, FISH Food Pantry coordinator.
According to the National Council on Aging, even before the pandemic only about half of the older eligible adults were signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.
At the end of 2020, Meals on Wheels America reported its branches were still serving on average 60% more seniors than before COVID-19.
Over $1.675 billion in emergency funding has gone to nutrition programs under the Older Americans Act to pay for food, gas and drivers to deliver meals, along with masks, gloves and sanitizer to protect staff.