IFFS Mobile Markets build food security and community for seniors
Every Monday, Florence and the other residents of her senior center get excited. They know that a refrigerated truck from Inter-Faith Food Shuttle will soon arrive. They excitedly wonder what’s inside – produce, eggs, meat, prepared entrees, bread, or canned goods? the possibilities are endless!
The truck is unloaded, the food is arranged in their multi-purpose room, and then three residents at a time get to “shop” for free food in this Mobile Market.
“It is a tremendous boost to our budgets,” says Florence. “We rely on the Food Shuttle. Without it, residents here would simply have less food. People definitely would be buying a lot more processed foods and it certainly would affect their health.”
Florence’s complex consists of senior adults, many of whom must survive on Social Security while facing health concerns. Without Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, it would be difficult for Florence and her neighbors to access and afford the food they need to eat well.
IFFS places an emphasis on providing healthy food, not just any food. Florence sees this every week when the Food Shuttle brings produce for vegetarians, sugar-free options for diabetics, low-sodium canned goods for residents watching heart health, and whole grain products for everyone. From time to time there is even fish, which is a big hit.
But the Mobile Markets do more than just provide healthy food – they inspire a sense of community. When a new resident moves in, he or she is welcomed with a reusable grocery bag and an invitation to “shop” at the next Mobile Market.
“On Food Shuttle days folks come down a few hours before the truck arrives to sit and chat,” said Florence. “It becomes quite a social opportunity for people. We always talk food and recipes.”
After shopping, all the fresh ingredients inspire residents to cook – and share meals together. “It really knits this little community together,” said Florence.
Thanks to the support of IFFS donors, Florence’s community gets a delivery of healthy food each week. Give today to ensure these important programs remain available.
By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@FoodShuttle.org