The Healthy Foods Program was created to address food insecurity among seniors and is the first food-delivery program of its kind in the St. Louis area. This program provides seniors with healthy groceries, educational, and community resources because no one should have to overcome food insecurity alone. By offering these resources, St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation hopes to further its mission of helping our seniors be happy and healthy while remaining in their homes for as long as possible.
In 2018, the State of Senior Hunger found that 9.5% of seniors living in the St. Louis metropolitan area experienced food insecurity and 4.2% of seniors experience very low food security. Food insecurity among seniors is prevalent in our community and can have serious negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health.
The multi-faceted program launched in June 2021 to serve low income seniors living in St. Louis County and St. Louis City experiencing food insecurity. There are a myriad of factors that cause seniors to lose food security such as:
Financial Limitations to Food Security: 56% of St. Louis City seniors live below the economic security threshold. Not having financial security has forced some seniors to choose between buying groceries or their medications.
Geographic Limitations to Food Security: 32% of senior households do not have access to a vehicle. Oftentimes low-income seniors live in food deserts, or lower-income neighborhoods with little access to grocery stores supplying healthy food. If seniors don’t have access to a transportation or a grocery store in their neighborhood, gaining access to healthy food can be a monumental challenge.
The Healthy Foods Program Components
Grocery Delivery: Seniors choose $100 of healthy groceries to be delivered to their home bimonthly through Instacart. St. Andrew’s Social Services Director, Heather Spindler, personalizes the process to meet each senior’s nutritional needs.
SNAP Guidance: Benefits counselors at St. Louis Area Agency on Aging and Aging Ahead are connected with interested seniors to offer guidance in applying to SNAP.
Nutritional Education: Research-based educational materials and healthy recipes are provided to seniors every quarter.