Auburn, Calif. – Surprisingly to some, individuals age 60 and older in Placer County are experiencing heightened rates of hunger and are particularly vulnerable to the negative health and nutrition implications of food insecurity. In fact, 30% of that age group – almost 28,000 people – do not know with certainty where their next meal will come from.
Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all of the time; it may simply reflect a need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or prescription medication and purchasing nutritionally adequate food – a decision no one should have to make.
During the month of March, National Hunger Month, Meals on Wheels America organizes March for Meals, a month-long campaign to raise awareness of senior hunger and the programs that exist to combat it. Locally, this campaign gives nonprofits such as Seniors First an opportunity to promote its varied senior nutrition programs such as MyMeals, nutritious, hot meals delivered to homebound seniors, and Senior Cafés, neighborhood sites where eligible seniors can go for a nutritious noontime meal. This annual campaign is also intended to help recruit new volunteers from our community and to increase fundraising from local businesses and supporters.
Seniors First Executive Director Jamee Horning is especially grateful to the local personalities and elected officials who are committing to using their visibility in the name of hunger by acting as Community Champions during March for Meals, volunteering and serving meals in several Senior Cafés.
In Auburn, Jim Holmes, Placer County supervisor, District 3, will donate his time at Valley Oaks Apartments, an independent living community that houses a Senior Café that serves hundreds of clients each month. Supervisor Holmes commented, “I look forward to this opportunity to join the Seniors First staff and volunteers to serve lunch and meet those who are benefiting from its nutrition programs. I always enjoy my time out in the community. Seeing a few seniors that I have already had the pleasure of meeting makes it that much more enjoyable.”
In Rocklin, City Manager Rick Horst will spend an afternoon at Rolling Oaks, a complex of senior housing apartments that accommodates a Senior Café Monday through Friday. “To meet and champion our local seniors all while raising awareness for their situation is an honor I don’t take lightly,” commented Horst.
The dance troupe from our local NBA basketball team will serve lunch, perform and entertain the guests at two locations in Roseville. “I am so grateful for the support of our professional sports teams who are taking time from their busy promotional schedule to advocate for our senior clients,” remarked Horning. Both Maidu Village and Sutter Terrace Café sites will host the troupe for a brief performance.
Seniors First is always in need of friendly, dedicated volunteers and financial support to underwrite programs and services for Placer County’s elderly and their families. If you or someone you know would like to get involved, please contact (530) 889-9500 ext. 213.