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Donated Fresh Produce Project to Aid Older Emmetsburg Residents

By Staff | Mar 22, 2018

Elderbridge Agency on Aging is working with local partners to make fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible for older Iowans through the launch of a fresh Senior Produce Box project.

Hunger in Your Hometown

According to a 2016 survey by Feeding America, nearly 81,000 Iowans age 60 and over are estimated to be “food insecure”, that is, they do not have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food. For many in this age group, the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,200 is their entire monthly budget. “As a result, food purchases may be sacrificed for other living expenses, like medication and utilities,” said Janna Reis, Senior Produce Box coordinator for Elderbridge.

Produce Growers and Volunteers are Needed to Pitch In and Help

Volunteers in Emmetsburg will distribute Senior Produce Boxes to people at senior housing, local meal sites, senior centers, and in conjunction with home-delivered meals. In its pilot year, Senior Produce Box teams across Iowa served approximately 190 older Iowans and produced more than 700 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Elderbridge Agency on Aging received funding from the Iowa Department of Public Health and SNAP-Ed to plan and coordinate the sourcing and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables. SNAP-Ed funds may not be used for the Senior Produce Box, but a majority of produce for the project is being donated by local growers, master gardeners, Farmers Market vendors and grocery stores.

More information will be available soon to announce the location and times seniors will be able to pick up their produce box. At that time, recipients will be encouraged to call the phone number below to check for availability.

If you are interested in donating produce or assisting with distribution or delivery, please contact Janna Reis or Sandi Iwen at 712-262-1775 or jreis@elderbridge.org or siwen@elderbridge.org