NUTRITIONAL PROGRAM - This program is a major part of our operations and provides the Senior with necessary nutrition. It is designed to help supplement the nutritional needs of our elderly that suffer from the inability to pay for food items or are unable to get transportation to or from a store to acquire them. In 2008, Habitat for Safe Seniors completed 14,542 food deliveries for a total of 216,076 pounds of food to Senior Citizens’ homes in 2008 and essentially saved the environment from hundreds of vehicles creating air pollution and saves our elderly from possible vehicle accidents.
The USDA recently reported that 36.2 million Americans, including 12.4 million children, are food insecure. “It is important to note that the USDA numbers…are 2007 figures and do not take into account the unprecedented economic crisis that our country is currently facing,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “We believe that this is just the beginning of a downward trend and we expect things to get worse before they get better.” The Nutritional Program is accomplished in the following ways:
Food Delivery – Donated food items including perishables, are delivered via our volunteer network to our elderly in over thirty-five subdivisions throughout the Canyon Lake area and are also delivered to additional areas within the county (i.e. New Braunfels, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Smithson Valley).
Senior Citizens registered with our organization are entered in our delivery data tracking system and assigned to a subdivision driver. When the volunteer makes the first visit to the Senior, the volunteer also makes note of any possible safety concerns in and around the home which brings our programs “Full Circle”.
Food Fairs - This program is sponsored by the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) and hosted by Habitat for Safe Seniors. This program serves the entire “low income” community not just those 55 and older. This program began as a way to contact those Seniors in need that are living with younger clients who are registered with Habitat for Safe Seniors. These food fairs continue to have a direct effect by providing proper nutrition to Seniors in need as well as their families and the community. This program benefits our Seniors by providing proper nutrition at no cost to them.
Emergency Food Pantry - Provide food in emergency situations or as needed for Walk-In Seniors. Our food pantry is located in the Senior Center. Our Senior Center and Food Pantry opened its doors in April of 2007 and served over 500 Seniors on a walk in basis in 2008. The Food Pantry benefits Seniors by providing healthy foods at no cost in times of emergency, giving them peace of mind and critically needed nutrition.
Mass Deliveries – This means of distribution allows Habitat for Safe Seniors to deliver food that is donated and purchased in massive quantities with less than 24 hours notice. Anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 pounds of food is donated and purchased and many times needs to be distributed within a day to avoid spoilage due to cooling/freezing requirements. Since we have limited cooling/freezing capacity, foods requiring cooling/freezing must be delivered the same day to avoid spoilage. Our volunteer network is very accommodating in this situation. We send an email to all volunteers in addition to our normal drivers in order to accomplish this delivery. This not only saves the Seniors from having to pick up these items but also saves our organization from having to make hundreds of phone calls to each registered client.