The Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) has been producing meals for adults and seniors in our community since 2012. In 2021, LCFB partnered with six organizations, including East Cooper Meals on Wheels (ECMOW) and Summerville Meals on Wheels (SMOW), to serve 135,497 meals to homebound seniors and adults throughout the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina. Meals on Wheels America (MOW) is a national nonprofit organization that offers food assistance to millions of older Americans annually. Each month, LCFB produces approximately 12,000 meals for seniors and veterans, with 94% supporting its Meals on Wheels partners.
In May 2022, Feeding America released The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2020, which documents the prevalence of food insecurity among the senior population, age 60 and older, at the national, state, and metro area levels. The study found that in 2020, overall, 6.8% of seniors in the United States (1 in 15) were food insecure, and in South Carolina, 9.3% of our neighbors aged 60 and older experienced hunger.
The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2020 shed a light on the extent of food insecurity among seniors in the United States and the negative impact it has on their nutrition and health – findings showed that food-insecure seniors consume lower quantities of key nutrients than those who are food secure. Adequate nutrition is especially important to support healthy aging, but it can be a challenge for our senior neighbors who face barriers such as limited financial resources and declining health and mobility. LCFB’s Nutrition Team and Executive Chef work with its Meals on Wheels partners, like ECMOW, to conduct a yearly nutrition analysis of the meals produced in the Zucker Family Production Kitchen and ensure they continue to create meals that are delicious AND meet the needs that healthy aging requires.
Working with organizations like Meals on Wheels allows LCFB to provide home delivered meals to seniors, which removes the stress and financial burdens of cooking and cleaning and provides homebound seniors with an extra source of support, companionship, and the comfort of knowing someone will come to check on them, with a meal in hand.
For Meals on Wheels resources, please visit: https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-life-leisure/senior-housing/aging-in-place/meals-on-wheels/.
To read the full The State of Senior Hunger in America in 2020 report, please visit: https://www.feedingamerica.org/research/senior-hunger-research/senior.
About the Lowcountry Food Bank: Feed. Advocate. Empower.
The Lowcountry Food Bank serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina and distributed more than 40 million pounds of food in 2021. The Lowcountry Food Bank helps fight hunger by distributing food to more than 250 partner agencies including on-site meal programs, homeless shelters and emergency food pantries. The Lowcountry Food Bank advocates on behalf of those who experience hunger and helps empower people to make healthy and nutritious food choices. For more information, visit the Lowcountry Food Bank website.