By Kim Kostes, Community Relations Manager
With rising gas and prescription costs, budgets are tight for most Delawareans. A group especially feeling the pinch is Delaware senior citizens. Fortunately for 2,500 low-income seniors living in Delaware, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a monthly program sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, brings much-needed relief.
The Food Bank of Delaware has been operating the program for more than a year now and our senior clients are incredibly thankful for the program. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Nancy, a resident of Luther Towers (a senior living facility in Dover, Delaware), to learn how the program is positively impacting her life.
Several illnesses have prevented 72-year-old Nancy from working. Before falling sick, Nancy worked for many years as a nurse. As a single mom, money was always tight in her household, but she never expected to depend on the generosity of others to make ends meet.
“I would eat every other day if it wasn’t for the Food Bank,” she said.
Nancy is appreciative for the products she receives in her monthly food box. She likes the variety of products and mentioned that everything is of good quality. “I am just so glad to get it all,” she said.
She loves the juices, cheese, canned fruits and vegetables and oatmeal the most. “It’s nice to not have all the processed foods, because I love cooking from scratch” she said.
To make ends meet, Nancy also uses discount grocers to supplement the monthly food she receives through the commodity program. She has noticed the increases in food prices though. “Everything is about 30 to 50 cents more,” she said.
“Everyone I know is having a difficult time,” she pointed out. “I don’t eat out, I don’t buy coffee and my car is good on gas. I’m good at economizing.”
Nancy has also noticed that the program is having a positive impact on other residents, “I overhear them saying how wonderful the program is. I know they appreciate it and are really glad for the Food Bank.”