Senior Citizen Backpack Program
There are many supplemental food programs for children and youth through schools and other organizations. It is true that “Well fed is well read.” We believe that no child should be hungry and certainly help were we can to aid that relief. We also feel strongly that well fed means better health for our Senior Adult population.
Very often, the hungry elder population goes unnoticed. Even though there are excellent meal programs in place, these generally offer food one time a day during the week. For many seniors, it is the only food they get. The homebound sector of this population will go without on weekends and holidays when meals are not delivered to them, or have limited or no family or friends to shop or run errands for them.
Can you imagine getting one meal per day, just on weekdays, not weekends? Can you imagine being hungry for up to 3-4 days if you didn’t save something from your mid-day meals during the week? Especially if it is a holiday weekend? It’s a rather unpleasant thought, isn’t it? What if you had to choose between extra food or medicine? What about your medicines that specify “take with food,” but you have to take it on an empty stomach? None of these questions are pleasant to think about, but to some senior citizens this is their reality.
With your help we are able to provide “senior sized” food items that are of smaller proportion that require little or no preparation and are shelf stable! We also provide a portion of fresh fruit and or vegetable that is ready to eat. These items are prepared and packed by volunteers into new t-shirt bags. Each bag usually contains 14-16 items. For long weekends, 16-20 items are provided. There is always protein, vegetables and fruit. Then the occasional treat of a can of pop or candy bar is wonderful as well. The bags are then loaded and delivered to a local center for distribution by community volunteers. Depending on the need, we have delivered between 26 and 57 bags per week, based on needs identified to us by local senior centers.
Though the program was born out of the COVID-19 crisis, we discovered it is an on-going need for many seniors, and we do not anticipate the need or the program going away. You can help us with continuing this much needed program. Donations can be made by mail or through the donation options on this website.
During the height of the pandemic we were consistently purchasing groceries for over 40 seniors/week with an average weekly expense of about $500. As things have settled down, we are still serving an average of 26 seniors per week at a weekly cost of about $250. It may not seem like a lot, but it adds up – $13,000 to fund it for a full year.
- $500 would fully sponsor one senior adult for a year.
- $250 would provide for a week of supplemental groceries for the program
- $40 would provide for one senior for a month (actually $41.67, but you can round it off); consider a monthly donation.
- $10 would take care of one senior for a week ($9.69 rounded up).
- If you know of a company that is offering grants for helping with feeding people in need during the COVID pandemic, please contact us so that we can approach them about fully funding our senior program.
If you would like to help, please consider a donation directly to this cause, or to our general fund so that we can continue to meet needs like this in conjunction with local senior centers, the Regional Food Bank, and other agencies.
Thank You Oklahoma Electric Cooperative!
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative recently made a $250.00 donation to our Senior Citizens Backpack Program. This generous gift enables us to provide supplemental food for one week for Senior Citizens that are shut in and have no one that can shop for them.
We have a number of volunteers who are senior adults. They help us with projects by stuffing envelopes, filling bags of toys for disaster relief, and in many other ways. We appreciate our senior volunteers, including Ms Bertha, who makes a quilt for us to auction each year as a fund-raiser for our ministry.