Access to Food for Families
The NSC-Northland Meals on Wheels is a community based program powered by dedicated volunteers and staff determined to feed the need of our senior community. The noon time meal delivered 5 days a week, is nutritious and balanced but so much more than just a meal!
Community partner, NKC Hospital prepares the meals for our Meals on Wheels program. Currently we are serving an average of 160 meals a day and utilize over 145 volunteers/hero’s a month. During these Covid pandemic times we feel so Blessed that volunteers have stepped up to keep the program running smooth.
Outstanding, caring staff keeps this program moving forward and successful as well. That’s not the only thing NSC is doing to feed the senior community. The Community Aging Solutions department saw a trend that food insecurities were becoming a problem in our senior community.
We have collaborated with Harvesters to offer food and nutrition through the Mobile Food Pantry and Commodity Supplemental Food Programs (CSFP). The Mobile Food Pantry gives us the ability to provide much needed fresh produce and other perishable foods. We receive a variety of approximately 5 different items. In the past those items have included berries, bananas, grapes, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, juice, tea & yogurt. There is no charge for the food nor proof of income needed. Participants are just asked to self-certify that they need the food they are receiving. This year we have distributed 2,800lbs of food to an average of 23 clients and their families including those which have their adult children living with them as well as caring for grandchildren.
In addition, through the CSFP, 2900+lbs of food and beverage was distributed. Each box contains nutrition education information along with non-perishable items such as canned fruits, low-sodium canned vegetables, cereal, tuna, peanut butter, milk, juice. There is also a 2lb brick of cheese with each box. Since starting in February 2020 we have provided 86 boxes, worth over $3800, to clients in need and continue to receive new applicants. Income and age guidelines do apply.
In June, the Assistance League of Kansas City reached out to NSC for help in
distributing produce from C & C produce which was procured through the
Farmers to Families grant. We now have access to a large box of mixed, fresh produce for our clients and the community. This program is supported by the USDA and will run weekly through August. This is offered at no charge and there are no income restrictions. These boxes were previously being sold for $20/box.
We estimate a benefit of $1800 worth of fresh produce being distributed to our clients in the first month of the program and expect to double that during the month of July.
On the horizon is the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program which gives access to a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey at participating area farmer’s markets. Our office will help clients apply for this program after which, coupons worth up to $50 will be distributed for their shopping needs at the farmer’s market. Income and age guidelines do apply.
All this while following proper social distancing measures for the safety of clients and staff, these distribution programs for nutrition have been through a drive-up service or a porch delivery option. All of these programs are offered at no charge to the client.
We are in the process of applying for a National Council on Aging (NCOA) grant that will assist seniors in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which provides nutrition assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. The program is especially important in helping low-income older adults afford nutritious food so they can stay as healthy as possible.
NSC is fulfilling the mission of “Helping Seniors Thrive”.