Resident Carol Kulick purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at her local grocery store.
Food insecurity is an issue for many low-income seniors. That’s why HumanGood, the sixth largest not-for-profit multi-site senior living and care provider in the country, according to the 2021 LeadingAge Ziegler 200, created a program to help fix the problem.
Cupboards of Care was created in 2016 with a mission to help residents of HumanGood’s affordable senior housing communities embrace healthy eating habits and improve food security. Since then, the program has helped more than 300 households and raised more than $403,000.
“Food insecurity is an issue for many low-income seniors, and the 2020-2021 pandemic exacerbated the problem” said Lynn Marie Johnson, vice president of philanthropy and mission support at HumanGood. “We are grateful for the support from our foundation partners and individual benefactors who recognize the need and impact of this program.”
As part of the program, participants receive nutritional counseling through Unidine, as well as education to help them make better nutritional choices within their budgets. Each of the participants also received a prepaid gift card to use to buy items typically difficult to accommodate in a budget, such as lean proteins or fresh produce.
Since 2018, Cupboards of Care has helped residents buy more than 15,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Residents have reacted positively, reporting increased food security and improved health —including lowered blood pressure, better stamina and effectively managing illness, such as diabetes.
“I feel blessed and privileged to be a participant in Cupboards of Care,” said resident Carol Kulik, who has been enrolled for two years. “The program gives me the special opportunity to stretch my limited financial resources in order to purchase healthier food items which can be out of reach. This is a wonderful gift to share with older adults who are on fixed incomes.”
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