The Tulsa World published a story on November 22, 2015
Julie DelCour writes: Take a moment and think about this question, which was passed on to me a few months ago: Is your grandmother hungry?
Following are points Ms. DelCour made in her article (with comments made after the story was published in pink):
- Seniors often must make difficult decisions between basic needs; having to do without critical medication because they needed to purchase food or doing without food to purchase medication. But those kinds of choices are made everyday.
- One in nine Oklahoma seniors are at risk for hunger.
- Social Security is the only source of income for one in three Oklahomans age 65 or older. On average, Oklahoma retirees receive about $1,206 a month from Social Security. Most of us could not begin to make ends meet on that amount of income. After YOU paid for your utilities, medicine, co-pays and rent (or if you own-the taxes and house insurance) in how much would YOU have left for food and toilet paper, stamps to mail your bills, pay for gasoline and auto insurance, to get to and from the doctor? INTAKE VOLUNTEER AT A LOCAL FOOD PANTRY: MANY of the widowed, who came in, received $600 or less, PER MONTH, in Social Security and that was their entire income. DIRECTOR AT A SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER, IN A RURAL TOWN: In reality, many clients receive and attempt to live on less than $397 per month in Social Security!
- Unlike Meals on Wheels or other nonprofits that deliver meals to the elderly, disabled and shut-ins, Senior Servings, requires participants come to a site, which generally is a place where they live at or visit regularly..” In other words, the ones who can no longer drive, and many times need it most, are the ones who get left out. However, the food bank said if I donated money to be used to help get food to Seniors that they have no way of making sure it will go to benefit hungry Seniors.
- 4 million seniors across the country are malnourished.
- Many Seniors suffer in silence and would rather not let anyone know they need help. Many elderly will not go to a food pantry as that were raised to not expect others to take care of them. Only 17% of all who go to food pantries are age 60 and over, but it isn’t always pride. Many can no longer drive or can’t leave their house. Many of the ones who get left out are the very ones who need it most.
So how can we help a hungry Senior? Christmas, the season of giving, makes it easier to “gift” someone who needs help so they don’t see it as a hand-out.
- A gift certificate for their favorite grocery store, deli or pharmacy. Reasors or a Walmart gift card can help them choose between a little protein, their prescription or personal items such as shampoo or toilet paper.
- A QT gift card can buy gas to go to the doctor or to church.
- Pay their gas or electric bill, so they can stay warm
Struggling to eat, many are further isolated when they don’t have sufficient food to even participate in a church potluck. Check out this group in Chattanooga, TN: Harvest
At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry and you gave me ….eat…I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in. ~ Mother Teresa (See Matthew 25:35-40)