Hunger Relief Program for Seniors
provided by Redwood Empire Food Program
Sonoma County seniors on limited, fixed incomes may be eligible for a special hunger relief program, offered by the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB), that provides a box of nutritious food each month to seniors who are urgently in need of food assistance.
It is always difficult for people who are used to being generous throughout their adult lives to realize they may need assistance as they get older. It can be hard to ask for help. “My circumstances have changed, I just had surgery and I need the help” admitted a long time REFB volunteer who gets a monthly box of food near her house.
This special Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It provides a monthly 30 pound box of healthy foods to supplement the food diets of seniors. A variety of food is included, such as cheese, cereal, dry or evaporated milk, juice, rice, pasta, peanut butter, canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
The REFB provides critical food assistance each month to 11,260 seniors who live on fixed incomes that do not cover basic life needs, including food. CSFP is crucial to ensure all seniors who struggle with hunger have enough nutritious food to lead healthy and independent lives.
Marijane in Santa Rosa loves the senior food box, “My CalFresh benefits were reduced so I needed to get other food to help me get through the month.” Research has shown that seniors may sacrifice the quality of food they buy every month to make ends meet on a fixed income, or skip meals to let younger members of their family eat instead.
Irene loves the fruit and vegetables from the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) because it is the only fresh food she gets in her diet. But the canned foods are also important to get her through the month; she only has $50 for food as her rent was raised by $48 this year. “Oh god, yes, it helps. Thank you dears for helping me.”
Eligible seniors must be 60 years or older and have incomes that meet the program’s federal guidelines. A single senior’s income cannot exceed $1,265 a month; a senior couple’s income cannot exceed $1,705 a month.
To learn more about eligibility, contact the Redwood Empire Food Bank at 707-523-7900 and ask to speak with a Programs Coordinator.
To enroll, seniors are required to provide:
• Photo ID such as driver’s license, California ID.
• Proof of income, such as Social Security, SSI paperwork or bank statement, Medi-Cal card, pension, TANF letter.
• Proof of Age
The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has fed hungry people, currently serving 78,000 children, families and seniors each month in Sonoma County, while striving to end hunger in our community. The REFB collaborates with local and regional partners to obtain and distribute over 13 million pounds of food annually, the equivalent of 29,800 meals every day. It is also the primary source for hunger relief agencies in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Visit www.refb.org or call 707-523-7900 to learn more.
Gail Atkins, Director of Programs
707-523-7900, ext 119
This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.