The Issue: Limited Access to Nutritious Food
More than 50 million Americans live in food-insecure households, meaning they live at risk of hunger, according to Feeding America. And in a study done in 2009, it was found that nearly 9 million people over the age of 50 were living in food insecure households, a number that is projected to increase by 50% by 2025. Because fruits and vegetables are some of the most expensive groceries, people who struggle to pay for meals often sacrifice these items despite the fact that they contain essentials vitamins and nutrients. By providing food insecure seniors with fresh produce, it helps ensure that they eat a healthy diet that supports their overall wellness.
The Campaign: Distributing Fresh Produce to Seniors
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Centerstone to distribute fresh produce to local seniors. Every $13 raised will purchase one bag of produce with enough fruits and vegetables, such as red peppers, kale, bananas, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce, for one senior for one week. The produce bags can be picked up at the center or delivered to seniors with mobility issues.
One day when she was leaving the Centerstone office in downtown Seattle, CEO Andrea Caupain met a homeless man outside the building. She stopped to talk to him and he explained that he couldn’t eat the food he had just picked up from the food bank. He had a week’s worth of fresh food, but no pot to cook it in. So, the next day she brought him a pot from home that he could use to cook his meals with from then on. This interaction reflects the core of Centerstone’s mission: to be a lifeline in the community.
Centerstone began in the '60s as part of the War on Poverty movement. Along with 29 other community action agencies formed in the state, it advocated for low-income individuals’ rights in legislation and provided them with daily necessities through on-the-ground programs. Over the years it evolved and began offering services to anyone in need. Today, Centerstone provides energy, housing, and food assistance for families, seniors, immigrants, and people with disabilities who are having financial difficulties. Centerstone pays bills so people can keep their heat on in the winter, provides deposits for people trying to obtain a new apartment, and distributes food at a local food bank. Beyond helping clients meet their basic needs, Centerstone also teaches them life and money management skills.