Volume 11 | May 2018
In every community, food banks work in collaboration with federal nutrition programs to serve adults as they age. We must maintain and strengthen this network of support to reach older adults through programs that account for their varying capacity to purchase and prepare food.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) are two federally-funded programs that work in tandem to ensure low-income older adults have access to groceries. However, SNAP is underutilized by this demographic. Among older adult households, half (52%) currently receive SNAP benefits, while two-thirds of non-participant households are income-eligible.

When older adults have limited ability to cook and prepare meals, charities such as food banks leverage federal funds to provide congregate and home-delivered meals. In addition, food banks provide nutrition assistance to older adults who are not income or age eligible for federal programs but who struggle with these challenges nonetheless.

The Lowcountry Food Bank serves seniors in 10 counties by providing nutritious pantry staples, including fresh produce, to at-risk seniors. The Lowcountry Food Bank distributes more than 2,000 boxes of food each month and prepares over 94,000 senior meals for home delivery by partners like East Cooper meals on Wheels and Charleston Area Senior Citizens. 

In the end, a collective effort is needed, involving both federal and charitable food programs, in order to meet the diverse and changing needs of the vulnerable older adult population.
Client Spotlight:
Melissa's Story
A mother of three shares her story
"I work part-time serving lunch at my children's school. A year or two ago, a woman who works there approached me about volunteering for a new mobile food pantry that would be starting up once a month in the school parking lot. I knew my kids would love helping out, but I had one question: can we receive the food, too?

Things had been tight for my family for a long time, but we especially felt the pinch when I left my job to stay home and take care of Brianna, 10, Richard, 8, and Savannah, now 19 months. My husband, Jim, had good work building fences, but it wasn't enough. We had no extra money and even received a foreclosure notice on our house. So once we started receiving groceries at the pantry each month, which conveniently fell right between our food stamps renewal, we breathed a huge sigh of relief. The things we get are just incredible: fresh, colorful produce, plenty of bread for sandwiches, cereals, milk – tons of staples. It lets me use our food stamps for meat that I store away in our freezer and it keeps us stocked with healthy foods. Jim even saw his type 2 diabetes disappear. And to make the experience even sweeter, the kids have a ton of fun helping out, setting up tables and boxes of food, and helping other families fill up their baskets.

Between the mobile pantry, which continues throughout the summer, and a school-sponsored free summer lunch program, we're getting by even without the daily free lunch we count on during the school year. It relieves a ton of stress, and when I'm stress-free, my kids are too. Someday, I hope they'll all go to college like I never had the opportunity to do. Nothing, really, would make me happier than giving my kids a better life."
Most children look forward to the summer. They enjoy the sun, the fun and the leisurely days. But for many children, summer is a hardship because they struggle for their next meal. 

During the 2016-17 school year, more than 22 million American children ate free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. But in the summer, only a fraction of that number—3 million children in 2017, according to the nonprofit, Food Research & Action Center— had access to free meals. The Lowcountry Food Bank meets the needs of food-insecure children in the summer by providing them with nutritious meals and snacks when they do not have access to free or reduced-price school meals. This may include breakfast, lunch, snack, and/or supper meals.

Partnering with local non-profits, elementary schools, and faith based organizations, the Lowcountry Food Bank prepared and served 67,000 meals to children at 43 Summer Meals sites last summer. The Lowcountry Food Bank’s 1,600 square foot, full-scale Zucker Family Production Kitchen enables the Lowcountry Food Bank to prepare nutritious meals on-site for numerous local Summer Meals sites.

Help us feed more children this summer.
MAY 12, 2018
Join the efforts of letter carriers across the Lowcountry and donate food on May 12th to help your neighbors in need. Your letter carrier will provide you with a bag to make your donation. Simply place your food donation in/near your mailbox and your letter carrier will take care of the rest. Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive for the Lowcountry Food Bank and in the United States, generating more than 136,611 pounds of food and creating 114,000 meals for those the Lowcountry Food Bank serves. 
Lowcountry Food Bank
2864 Azalea Drive | Charleston, SC 29405