More seniors turning to food banks for help

HATFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The number of elderly people who need food assistance is expected to increase in the next decade.

According to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the number of people overall who rely on food assistance programs is going to double in the next ten years, but already, one in 12 seniors receives assistance through food banks.

Due to fixed incomes, seniors often have to make the tough choice between paying their utilities or paying for medication. They’re sacrificing food, and especially healthy food, to get other necessities. Megan Pete, Marketing Director for the Food Bank, told 22News that because of that need, they have a program designed specifically to help seniors.

“The Food Bank since 1983 has actually been doing a program called ‘Brown Bag for Elders,’ which provides elders who are age and income eligible with an additional bag of groceries each month to help them stretch their limited resources,” Pete said.

The Brown Bag program delivers to 70 facilities across western Massachusetts, including several Councils on Aging. Elderly participants help make the brown bags for others in need.

If you would like to find out whose eligible for the Brown Bag program, you can click here.

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