A financial crisis that has millions turning to meal programs just to stay fed. Inflation is hitting communities, like senior citizens, who live on fixed incomes the hardest.
From the pump to produce, prices are skyrocketing and no relief from the relentless rise. The money going out continues to grow while for many, what comes in stays painfully stagnant.
"It's particularly challenging for those on a fixed income that don’t have an option to increase their income with working more hours and things like that," explained Garret Olson CEO, SLO Food Bank.
Under that umbrella are some of the most vulnerable, retirees or seniors living on social security. Those same dollars are unable to stretch as far as the current economic climate.
"My food consumption is kind of fixed with food stamps and things like that and charitable organizations," Lloyd Kattenhorn, San Luis Obispo resident.
For some, it’s a shocking new reality, those who once gave back to the SLO Food Bank are reliant on those same donations for their own hunger relief.
"They’ve paid it forward, they’ve leaned in to help us, and while we're sad that they’ve fallen on the circumstances that create the need for them we're so honored to be there," said Olsen.
Thanks to those donations, programs like the SLO Food Banks home delivery to seniors are able to pick up some of the slack. As inflation soars so has enrollment. In March 2022, 89 households were signed up for the delivery program. Now in October, that number has hit 131.
"Before they may have had family members or caretakers going to pick up food for them and that may have stopped for whatever reason, but this enables them to get weekly food deliveries, so they don’t have to worry about that," Cliff Mendez, Direct Service Manager at SLO Food center
Partnering with Wilshire Community Services the SLO food bank’s program brings food to home-bound seniors that meet income requirements. In an era of unprecedented prices and post-pandemic uncertainty, they aim to make food security something to be sure about.
To enroll in the home delivery to seniors program you can go to the SLO Food Banks website to learn more about qualifying. There you will also find a number to the enrollment line where they will walk you through the process.
To qualify for the program, you must be 60 or over, homebound for any reason, and meet the income requirement. The deliveries are done every Tuesday or Thursday depending on the part of the county you live in.