As the Desert’s Regional Food Bank, FIND Food Bank helps bring food to those who are food insecure. This month we learn about the growing need for food amongst seniors, who are 55 and older. News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay takes us to a senior center in Coachella where we see this need.
Often seniors get overlooked when we think about food insecurity when in reality, according to FIND Food Bank, seniors in need have risen by 7% this past year.
One hundred seniors lined up at the Eleanor Shadowen Senior Center in Coachella to receive food from FIND Food Bank.
“Everything you gave to us today is gold,” said 85-year-old, Noelia Gonzalez as she held back tears while sharing her gratitude towards FIND Food Bank.
“It brings tears to my eyes because there are so many people that rely on you,” she said.
As the number of seniors in need rise, it’s important to know that many of them have to make difficult choices like choosing between food, medicine, rent or other basic needs.
97-year-old, Jesus Mota says this is his reality. Marco de la Luz with FIND Food Bank translated for us.
“They have those days where they have to choose between either medicine or food,” he said. "It’s difficult because the food is needed for their health but at the same time the medicine is also helpful for them and he cannot really tell you how the struggles are because both of them are his needs,” he added.
Today, FIND Food Bank tells us 26% of the people they serve are seniors.
Not only does this food fill a growing need in the Coachella Valley, but also FIND Food Bank thoughtfully provides items that are healthy and easy to use to create nutritious meals.
Gonzalez tells us she uses this food to cook every week.
“Chicken with zucchini, oh my goodness it’s the best,” she said.
On February 10, FIND Food Bank delivered 2,466 pounds of food to seniors in need.
“It’s a great help," Mota said.
As the love from FIND Food Bank rubs off on the community it also impacts those who work there. Marco de la Luz helps deliver food to seniors.
“It’s not a job, it’s a commitment," he said. "Especially working here with the seniors you see them trying to help you pass out all the food, it’s amazing and seeing their smiling faces warms your heart,” he added.
You can find more information on FIND Food Bank here: http://www.findfoodbank.org/