Distributing Food to Seniors Provides Enlightening Experience

As along-time supporter of the Food Bank and a member of the Full Plate Circle, Chris Rieser helps feed our friends and neighbors who are struggling on a regular basis. Looking for a more hands on experience, Chris spent a day in Halifax County helping Food Bank staff distribute CSFP boxes to seniors. CSFP is a USDA program that provides a monthly package of food designed to supplement the nutritional needs of low-income senior citizens. Each box includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein, and dairy, packed with care by Food Bank volunteers.

Each CSFP box contains an assortment of foods

It’s hard to believe that people could survive on so little,” Chris said after looking at the qualifications for the CSFP Program. “Unfortunately, it is all too real.” Nearly 50,000 seniors in our 34-county service area live at or below the poverty level.

This includes 84-year-old Nello, a lifelong resident of Enfield. “As long as we were working, we didn’t worry about food,” said Nello. But that changed when he retired more than 20 years ago. “We can’t pay off all the bills. My gas bill is sky high. In the winter, I know we won’t catch up then.”

Fortunately for Nello and many seniors in our service area, they are able to receive a box of staples every month from the Food Bank. It is all thanks to donors like Chris that we are able to provide this life-sustaining food. Though Chris was very aware of the problem of hunger, she found volunteering was an eye-opening experience.

“It was very enlightening, in the almost literal sense of shedding light on the circumstances of the people who need this type of help.”

Volunteers form an assembly line to pack CSFP boxes

Your Turn

You can join Chris in helping feed North Carolina seniors, living on fixed incomes and struggling to have enough food to eat. To make a donation, visit foodbankcenc.org/donate. To sign up for a volunteer shift, visit foodbankcenc.org/volunteer. Or share this post with a friend to help raise awareness!