As a reflection of today’s economic uncertainty, many senior citizens find themselves in need of food assistance for the first time in their lives. After a lifetime of work, many seniors in our community are living on fixed incomes that make it difficult to pay for all their basic and medical needs such as groceries, medication or paying for utility bills.
Following the loss of her elderly aunt in January, Ms. Edith Mosley Doucette suffered another loss – a source of income. In need of food assistance, she applied for the Food Bank’s Senior Grocery Program to alleviate her financial burden and to continue to support and care for her younger sister on dialysis.
“If I didn’t have the help from the Food Bank, life would be very difficult. I don’t think people realize how easy it is to struggle from just one event,” she said. “You can be up today, and down the same day. You can have it one minute and the next minute, you don’t.”
Once a month, Ms. Edith receives a supplemental package of shelf-stable food and a box of household items, such as paper towels and paper plates. The food box is made up of donated product including breakfast foods, assorted canned and dried fruits, vegetables, proteins and sweets. Ms. Edith also collects fresh fruit and vegetables at True Light Baptist Church each month as part of our Farm Fresh Healthy Food Initiative.
“It’s a blessing; the fresh vegetables, the fresh fruit and the box we receive once a month,” Ms. Edith states. “I thank God for the Food Bank.”
A recent report released by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger ranked Louisiana as the second worst state for seniors at risk of hunger, with approximately 24% or one in four seniors facing food insecurity. The purpose of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s Senior Grocery Program is to feed the senior population in our community, and as a result, improve our assisted senior’s quality of life by allowing them to stretch their budgets to cover other expenses.
Without aid from the Food Bank, it would be very difficult for Ms. Edith to put food on the table, and she has a message for all who support our mission.
“To the people giving to the Food Bank, you’re doing a great job and continue to do it. God bless you. I also want to thank God for the people that the Lord touched their hearts to just give to the Food Bank, because in my book, it’s very much needed.”