Starting in June, Hoosier Hills Food Bank (HHFB) will begin providing monthly boxes of food for up to 100 low-income senior citizens in Monroe County. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is already operational in Brown, Crawford, Orange, and Martin counties.
Potentially eligible seniors must complete a program application and will be scheduled for an interview to document their eligibility. Casey Steury, the Director of Programs for HHFB, says to be eligible, they must be 60 and over, live in Monroe County and be 130% of the poverty level or less.
Funding for the program is provided by the US Department of Agriculture and Indiana State Department of Health, but Steury says that volunteer power is really what runs the program, and that without volunteers getting the word out about the program, many eligible seniors who don’t have access to internet or newspapers wouldn’t know that help was available.
The HHFB provides food for soup kitchens and shelters but the monthly food delivery program is the one time they get to interact directly with the people who benefit from their work.
“This senior program is the one program where we actually get to hand boxes directly to these seniors,” Steury says. “Because they get this food they don’t have to decide between buying food or medicine this month.”
The seniors then provide feedback on how this program has helped to improved their lives.
About 7% of Monroe County’s senior population are living below the poverty level.